After Ga. shootings, Biden, Harris alter plans for Atlanta visit; flags ordered at half-staff

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 12:34 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As announced earlier, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will still travel to Atlanta on Friday.

However, the plans have been changed after the slayings of eight people, mostly Asian Americans, this week at spa businesses.

“Given the tragedy in Georgia on Tuesday night, President Biden and Vice President Harris will postpone the evening political event in Georgia for a future date,” the White House said in a statement Thursday. “During their trip to Atlanta, they will instead meet with Asian-American leaders to discuss the ongoing attacks and threats against the community, meet with other local leaders, and also visit the Centers for Disease Control to receive an update from the team of health and medical experts helping lead the fight against the pandemic.”

The original goal of the visit had been to promote the benefits of the recently passed stimulus measure.

President Biden has also ordered for flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House Friday in remembrance of the eight victims.

The flag order also includes public buildings, military posts, naval stations and vessels, and U.S. embassies and other facilities abroad “as a mark of respect,” the proclamation stated. The order extends through sunset Monday.

A white man was charged in the shootings Tuesday that killed eight people, many of whom were Asian American women, at three massage parlors in the metro area. The killings stoked more fear and outrage for many amid an increase of racist attacks against people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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