President Joe Biden is visiting Atlanta on Friday to meet with Asian-American leaders in the wake of shootings that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had originally planned to promote the recently enacted $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package on their trip to Georgia, but postponed a political event given the Tuesday-night shootings. They will instead meet with Asian-American leaders and discuss the attacks and threats against the community, the White House said Thursday.
Biden and Harris also visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to receive an update on the fight against the COVID pandemic. Biden plans to deliver remarks in the afternoon from Emory University.
“We owe you a debt of gratitude,” Biden told workers at the CDC. “This is a war. You are the front-line troops.”
The killings by a white gunman in three Atlanta-area massage businesses came after a spike in anti-Asian violence nationally.
Biden said in a tweet on Wednesday that “the recent attacks against the community are un-American. They must stop.”
Biden also plans to meet Friday with Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who ran for Georgia governor in 2018 and was influential in flipping the state to her and Biden’s party in last year’s election. With Democratic victories in Georgia’s Senate runoff races, the party gained control of the chamber. The Senate passed Biden’s COVID aid package earlier this month on a party-line vote.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
on Friday slumped after the Federal Reserve announced it would not extend relief for banks from a key capital rule, but the S&P 500
index and Nasdaq Composite
rose in afternoon trades.