Press Release: COVID-19 Origins Report

TAAF President Releases Statement on COVID-19 Origins Report From Leading GOP House Foreign Affairs Committee Member

WASHINGTON, DC, August 3, 2021

The Asian American Foundation ("TAAF") today shared a statement in response to the report released Monday by the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report raises growing concerns that the pandemic was started by a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located in the city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.

Sonal Shah, President of TAAF, released the following statement in response to the report:

TAAF is deeply concerned that the findings in this report will be weaponized to fan the flames of anti-AAPI hate and violence that have already been surging throughout the pandemic. AAPI communities have been scapegoated, blamed, and subjected to extremely high numbers of hate incidents, which have no place in America. We cannot let the public health crisis continue to give way to a crisis of hate in our communities. So as long as investigations into the origins of the pandemic continue, it is imperative that investigators communicate their findings with the safety of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in mind. Working with our partners, TAAF is committed to improving crisis prevention and response infrastructure that will ensure our communities are better protected from anti-AAPI hate and violence in the future.

The Biden administration is conducting its own investigation into the origins of the pandemic and in May President Biden called on the Intelligence Community to provide a report to him on the origins of COVID-19 which is expected later this summer.

TAAF was founded in May 2021 to help solve the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities. To start, it is focusing its efforts on three key areas of concern: anti-hate, data and research, and education. Its anti-hate work continues to be especially important as anti-AAPI hate and violence persist at alarming rates. From 2019 to 2020, hate crimes targeting AAPI communities have increased by 833% in New York City and 114% in Los Angeles.

About The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. TAAF supports advocates and organizations committed to AAPI causes so that together we can more effectively take action against hate and violence, and build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society. We were founded to solve for the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities and we strive to be a catalyzing force for creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. Upon our founding, TAAF’s Board raised $125 million to support AAPI organizations and causes over the next five years — the largest philanthropic commitment in history made by Asian Americans fully focused on supporting AAPI communities. For additional information about TAAF, please visit

Media Contact:

The Asian American Foundation