U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill meant to address a proliferation of assaults and other violent crimes against Asian Americans since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, celebrating a rare moment of overwhelming bipartisanship but warning that Americans must do more to combat hate crimes.

The bill amounts to the first legislative action that Congress has taken to bolster law enforcement’s response to attacks on people of Asian descent during the pandemic. Experts testified before a key House panel in March that the attacks — many targeting women or older people — have increased nearly 150% in the past year, with Americans of Asian descent reporting being spat on, shoved to the ground, beaten and burned by chemicals.

"All of this hate hides in plain sight,” Biden said at the White House before a crowd of nearly 70 lawmakers and activists who had pushed for the bill’s passage. "Too often it is met with silence — silence by the media, silence by our politics and silence by our history.”