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Ted Lieu on Atlanta mass killing: Remember Trump’s ‘kung flu’?

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Cause, meet effect, Lieu suggests

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) hit out at former President Donald Trump over his use of the term "kung flu" in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic and took to Twitter to connect the comments to Tuesday's mass killing in Atlanta.

What's a very brief history?

The accused killer — 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia — reportedly opened fire on Tuesday night at three different spas in the Atlanta area, killing eight people.

At least six of those people were ultimately identified as women of Asian descent.

Authorities arrested a 21-year-old suspect in connection with the murders, and police did not rule out the possibility of a hate crime.

What are the details?

On Tuesday night, Lieu took to Twitter to remind the public that Trump used the term "kung flu" to describe the virus, prompting people to act discriminatorily against Americans of Asian descent.

"According to this report," Lieu wrote, "6 of the 8 murder victims in the Atlanta area mass shooting are Asian women. Was this a hate crime? We need more evidence. But we do know the alleged murderer targeted three locations where the victims would disproportionately be Asian women."

The Democratic lawmaker also shared a tweet from actress Mindy Kaling, who addressed the mass killing and blasted the "normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year."

She wrote, "The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!"

In response to Kaling's tweet, Lieu wrote, "The former president used racist phrases like Kung Flu that inflamed discrimination against the Asian American community. Officials that continue to use ethnic identifiers in describing the virus are part of the problem. Please instead be a part of the solution. #StopAsianHate."

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