According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, the incidence of hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 149% in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019.
Civil rights advocates have connected the rise in incidents to the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China. Some Americans, including Republican former President Donald Trump, started calling the coronavirus the "China Virus," "The China Plague," and even the "Kung Flu."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed that sentiment on Friday.
"We are confronting right now a terrorism being directed at Asian-American communities. Let's be clear. A terrorism, a fear that has been created and it emanated from Washington D.C. and it was state-sponsored," he said.