The rise in attacks against Asian Americans has been felt across New York City, particularly the borough of Queens, where more than 25% of residents identify as Asian.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards discussed the borough’s efforts to confront anti-Asian hate.
He also discussed his thoughts on the allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as helping his borough have more access to health care and COVID-19 vaccines.
Attacks on Asian Americans
Amid the rise in attacks against the Asian American community, Richards said coming together is “the most important thing we can do.”
Any attacks, particularly racially motivated attacks, will not be tolerated, according to Richards. The city is working with many partners in the Asian American community.
Individuals who perpetrate these acts must be held accountable, he added.
Cuomo resignation calls
The Queens borough president recently called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid sexual harassment allegations.
“We are faced with a magnitude of different issues. We can’t have distractions at this moment,” Richards said.
Anything related to sexual harassment must be dealt with seriously.
Richards also said Cuomo deserves due process, but questioned whether or not the governor can lead during this time.
Regarding claims of bullying and intimidation, Richards said he “heard the rumors” of bullying, but he personally has not encountered it, and he has a good relationship with the administration.
Queens hospital crisis
The borough lost over 7000 people to the pandemic.
“Lack of access has been one of the reasons we saw the crisis exacerbated,” Richards said, calling for more hospitals, beds and investments into the institutions in Queens.
Vaccines in Queens
There’s a lot more trust among Queens residents, but now the issue is the need for more vaccine supply.
About 24% of all Queens residents have received at least one vaccine dose. “That’s a shame” seeing that Queens was once the epicenter, Richards said.
Richards wants to ensure every child has access to a laptop in queens.
Getting back to normalcy and sort of normalcy begins with having kids back in schools.