Actress and activist Olivia Munn believes the surge in anti-Asian violence across the country is a consequence of the “weapon against coronavirus” Asian Americans “

Munn, 40, spoke in the 3rd Hour of TODAY Thursday after a string of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area on Monday that killed eight people, six of them Asian women

Last year nearly 3800 hate incidents reported against Asian Americans and Pacific islanders, and women were 3 times more likely to report an incident, according to a report by Stop AAPI Hate group released Tuesday

“I think we need to let everyone know that the pandemic was against Asian Americans,” Munn said. “And we have a target on our back and for some reason it just feels like it’s an open one Season is for us And we need help and we need people to take care of what happens to us “

Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged Wednesday with the murder of eight homicide cases At a news conference on Wednesday, authorities said Long had told investigators that he was sexually dependent and viewed the spas as a temptation to eliminate

Officials in the two jurisdictions where the shootings took place, however, stressed that it was too early to determine whether race was a motive for the killings

“You see what happened in Atlanta, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Munn said. “And I have to say, it’s also incredibly annoying to hear the Atlanta Sheriff’s Department or the Cherokee Sheriff’s Department say that they still can’t really tell what it is, and it’s so clear that Asian women have been targeted. It’s just so hard for people to label a hate crime as a hate crime, especially when the attacker is a white man “

Capt Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, also came under fire at Wednesday’s press conference for saying Tuesday was “a really bad day for him” in terms of Long screenshots also popped in a Facebook post by Baker in March 2020, in which anti-Asian T-shirts were advertised that said: “Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA”

Baker hasn’t responded to multiple NBC News requests for comment, and the Facebook page appears to have been removed

Munn believes in the stigma associated with Asian Americans because the coronavirus, which first spread to the Chinese city of Wuhan, is behind much of the violence.Former President Donald Trump often referred to COVID-19 as the Chinese one Virus and the “kung flu” “

“Scientists encouraged executives to use the scientific names and not associate a virus with any country or place, and this astronomical increase in violence against Asians is, in my opinion, a direct cause of the refusal to do so,” said Munn

“Women, in general we are the more vulnerable sex in this country so it will be easier for people to attack us and usually the attackers are cowards so they will chase after people who cannot fight back”,” She said “But there is also a stigma that fetishizes Asian women in our country and that only makes us extremely vulnerable”

Munn has used social media to ask the public to speak out against increasing anti-Asian violence. Last month she put the spotlight on the issue and led to an arrest after a violent attack on a friend’s parents in New York City

On Wednesday, numerous celebrities, athletes and lawyers came to speak out against the violence with the hashtag #StopAsianHate

“People posting on social media right now helps us,” said Munn. “It makes us feel like we are being seen, especially because in the Asian community we often feel invisible and our pain is invisible

“The fact that people say, ‘Hey, we see what happens to you and it’s not okay’ really makes a difference, and for people to denounce it so publicly, I think it’s the most important thing to spread this message that what is happening to us is wrong “

Scott Stump is a New Jersey-based freelancer who has posted a regular TODAY com has been producing news and features across the Trending, Pop Culture, Sports, Parents, Pets, Health, Style, Food, and TMRW industries since 2011. He’s done every job in Tackled, from interviewing astronauts on the International Space Station to prison inmates training service dogs for military veterans

Olivia Munn

World News – USA – Olivia Munn says anti-Asian violence “does not happen in a vacuum”