President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The issue of demographics in relation to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is a topic that has become more prevalent as more Americans die from the virus. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that his team would investigate the disproportionate coronavirus death toll among black Americans.
At a recent press briefing, the President stated that he would attempt to get to the bottom of it. “It doesn’t make sense and I don’t like it,” he told reporters.
Recent data revealed that the coronavirus is killing black Americans at about three times the rate of white Americans and other racial groups. In Louisiana, blacks make up 70% of the 582 coronavirus-related deaths.
Trump stated that his team is intent on discovering the reason behind this disparity. “We are helping them a lot,” he said. “We are trying to find out why it is three or four times … more [deadly] for the black community.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the coronavirus task force, explained that underlying health conditions in the black community are likely a key contributor to the rate of death. “We’ve known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma are disproportionately affecting minority communities, particularly African Americans,” he said. “We’re very concerned about that. It’s very sad. There’s nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.”
Fauci also indicated that health emergencies like COVID-19 could sometimes shine a “bright light” on specific societal weaknesses. “Health disparities have always existed for the African American community, but here, with this crisis, it’s shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is,” he concluded. The doctor also stated that after the crisis has passed, these disparities will continue, and they must be addressed.
As I indicated previously, there are several high-profile Democrats who are advocating for more data regarding the racial breakdown of coronavirus deaths. While some likely wish to use these numbers against the Trump administration, others are concerned about the disparity.
But, as Fauci explained, the black community tends to suffer serious health problems with a much higher frequency than others. Several factors could explain these disparities: Poverty levels, lack of adequate education in predominantly black cities, and others could easily account for poor health conditions in the community.
Nevertheless, getting the numbers won’t mean anything unless something is done about it. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that these issues will be addressed because Democrats still control cities with higher minority populations, and there is only so much that can be done at the federal level.
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