The Texas governor has accused COVID-19 of increasing hospitalization and death rates among unvaccinated blacks – these comments have often been denounced as racist
Republican Governor Dan Patrick said this on Thursday night’s episode of Fox News in response to a question about the recent coronavirus wave in Texas. The state is seeing its highest rate of hospitalizations since January due to the prevalence of the highly contagious delta variant.
“The largest group in most states is unvaccinated African Americans,” Patrick said.
Patrick didn’t change course, saying on Friday that “Democratic social media trolls” were telling false facts and using government information in their claims. The office did not respond to a request for comment.
However, statistics from the Texas Department of Public Health do not confirm this. Blacks, who make up about 12 percent of the more than 29 million people in Texas, account for about 15 percent of total COVID-15 cases and just over 10 percent of deaths.
In an interview with Fox News, Patrick said Democrats were responsible for the low vaccination rates among black people who often support the party, even though Republicans believe they should persuade more people to fire. But he also brought up this sensitive issue for the GOP.
“However, we respect that we won’t force people to get vaccinated if they don’t want to,” Patrick said. “It’s their individual right.”
COVID claims by Texas lieutenant governor denounced as racist:
City and county officials in Texas—many of them in the ongoing legal battle with the state government over a mask requirement—met Patrick with a quick rebuke.
“The Governor’s comments are humiliating and should not be ignored,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is black.
Rodney Ellis, the county’s black commissioner for surrounding Houston, wrote that Patrick’s comments were “racist and blatantly false”.
“Governor, blaming Blacks is more frustrating than doing the right thing and working with local government to control the spread of COVID-19,” Ellis wrote.
By state, about 8% of the eligible black population in Texas have been vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to 35% of the white population. Whites are the largest racial group in Texas, making up about 40% of the population.
Overall, 44% of Texas residents are fully vaccinated, which is about 50% less than the national average. COVID-19 is blamed for more than 50,000 deaths in the state and more than 600,000 deaths in the United States.
Failures and abuses on behalf of the government, including the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which black men were used as guinea pigs to study a sexually transmitted disease, have created distrust in public institutions for many African Americans.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP Conference, said these historic differences are a problem in the politicization of vaccines, misinformation and access to film. Bledsoe said she was “shocked” by Patrick’s comments.
“I’m very worried that someone will come out and do something ugly because they think someone in their community has been infected by black people. That’s not true. Get in touch with people and say, ‘Let’s get together.’ because that’s very important. It’s a problem,” Bledsoe said.
According to the Johns Hopkins University Center, the seven-day average daily death toll from COVID-19 in Texas rose from 50.29 deaths per day on August 4 to 115.14 deaths on August 18 in the past two weeks.
This isn’t the first time Patrick has been criticized for his comments on the COVID-19 outbreak. Speaking to Fox News in April 2020, Patrick said the United States should start working in the face of the pandemic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people over 70 are at higher risk of serious illness. coronavirus, “we’ll take care of ourselves.”
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