<p>Andrew Yang</p>

Andrew Yang

Twitter

A New York mayoral candidate has been slammed for his comments about mental health, that people have said are ‘alarming’.

Speaking during a mayoral debate against other candidates, Andrew Yang garnered criticism after he implied that mentally ill people were dangerous and should be kept of the streets.

He said:

“Yes mentally ill people have rights but do you know who else have rights? We do, the people and families of the city. We have the right to walk the street and not fear for our safety because a mentally ill person is going to lash out at us.”

Yang was talking about the rise in hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans and claimed that mentally ill people are more likely to commit these crimes. While he said mentally ill people should be supported, and pledged to make more beds in psychiatric wards available if elected as mayor, many found his language distasteful.

Here’s a taste of the backlash:

Yang is a businessman who briefly ran in the 2020 presidential election. He is a Democrat and believes in a universal basic income policy to support people. He has said he wants to be an ‘anti-poverty’ mayor.

And responding to the criticism, after the clip of his poor taste of words went viral, Yang attempted to justify himself:

Regardless of his intentions, he really appears to have put his foot in it.

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