NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)President Joe Biden is speaking out as crimes against Asian Americans continue in our country and in New York City.

CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports on how the local community feels about the president’s comments.

READ MORE: City Leaders Hold Virtual Town Hall To Address Alarming Rise In Violence Against Asian-Americans

“Vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated,” Biden said in his first prime-time address to the nation Thursday.

The president condemned the recent pandemic-fueled uptick in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

“It’s wrong. It’s un-American and it must stop,” Biden said.

The president’s comments come on the heels of a new report that found anti-Asian hate crimes rose nearly 150% in major U.S. cities between 2019 and 2020. New York City had the largest increase, rising from three incidents to 28.

“It was about a year ago when our former president started using words like ‘Chinese Virus’ and ‘Kung Flu,’ said Rep. Grace Meng from Queens. “To hear our current president acknowledge the hurt that the community is going through and advise people to stop it, was just tremendous.”

Meng and Sen. Mazie Hirono are introducing legislation to combat the surge in crimes against Asian Americans.

READ MORE: Rally Against Attacks On Asian Community Draws Large Crowds At Foley Square

The bill will aim to expedite the review of reported crimes and issue guidance for state and local law enforcement on how to establish online reporting of crimes and expand education campaigns, data collection and public reporting.

Meng said many people in the Asian community do not feel comfortable coming forward if they are a victim of a hate crime. This legislation aims to help with that.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has mounted a campaign with a similar goal. Last year, the NYPD launched an Asian Hate Crimes Task Force.

The Asian American Foundation is finalizing a plan for citywide community programs which would include safe walks and mental health resources.

Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the foundation, said stopping the hate will require effort from all New Yorkers.

“We need to put all of these muscles that we have to humanize each other and to stand up for each other and to protect each other safely,” Yoo said.

Yoo added the president’s comments are a wonderful first step.

MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Pushes Campaign Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Including Financial Penalties And Potential Jail Time

CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team