‘Racist and Downright False’: Texas Republican Blames Black Americans for Covid Push | Texas
Dan Patrick, the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Texas, refused to apologize for blaming increased hospitalizations and Covid-19 deaths on unvaccinated African Americans, comments black Houston official described as “racist and outright false “.
Double his remarks to Fox News, Patrick blame âDemocratic Social Media Trollsâ and said âDemocrats continue to play politics with people’s livesâ.
Sylvester Turner, the Democratic mayor of Houston, who is African American, said Patrick’s comments were “offensive and should not be ignored.”
Amid widespread concerns about the spread of the Delta variant, Texas is experiencing its highest hospitalization rates since January. It emerged this week that the state had asked federal authorities for more body trucks.
The overwhelming majority of hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid-19 in the United States are among those who have not received a vaccine.
Speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham Thursday night, Patrick said, âThe biggest group in most states is African Americans who haven’t been vaccinated.
âThe last time I checked, over 90% of them vote Democrats in their big cities and major counties, so it’s up to Democrats – just like Republicans – to try to get that many vaccinated. people. “
In his Friday statement, Patrick noted federal and state data “clearly indicates that vaccination rates for blacks are significantly lower than rates for whites or Hispanics.” But statistics from the Texas Department of Health did not support it.
Black Texans, about 12% of the state’s more than 29 million people, accounted for about 15% of total Covid-19 cases and just over 10% of deaths.
About 8% of the eligible population in Texas who have been vaccinated is black, according to state data, compared to 35% of the white population. But whites are the largest racial group in Texas at around 40%. Overall, 44% of Texans are fully vaccinated, less than the national rate of around 50%.
The seven-day moving average of daily Covid deaths in Texas fell from 50.29 per day on August 4 to 115.14 per day on August 18, according to Johns Hopkins University. Covid-19 is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in the state and more than 627,000 in the United States.
Patrick also told Fox News that Republicans in Texas “respect the fact that if people don’t want the shots, we’re not going to force them.” It is their individual right.
Her boss, Governor Greg Abbott, made national headlines this week testing positive for Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated, while trying to stop schools from imposing mask warrants on students.
City and county officials joined with Turner in condemning Patrick’s remarks. Rodney Ellis, a Harris County commissioner who covers Houston, called Patrick’s comments “racist and downright bogus” and added: “It’s disappointing that [he] would rather be the black scapegoat than do the right thing and work with the local government to help control the spread of Covid-19. “
Government failures and abuses, including the âTuskegee Syphilis Study,â on unsuspecting black men, have led to mistrust among some African Americans.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State NAACP Conference, told The Associated Press such historic disparities combined with the politicization of vaccines, misinformation and lack of access to vaccines to make it difficult to immunize people. ‘more African Americans.
He also said he was âshockedâ by Patrick’s comments.
âI’m so worried that he will give someone land to go out there and do something outrageous because he thinks someone in his community has been infected with black people. It’s just not true, âBledsoe said.
âGo beyond your political base, reach out to people of all political persuasions in Texas, of all races and religions, and say, ‘unite’ because this is a major issue. “
Patrick, 71, has already made headlines related to Covid. In March of last year, he told fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson that many older Americans would willingly risk dying from Covid if it helped keep the economy open.
“No one contacted me,” he said, “and said to me,” As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance in return for keeping America as all of America love for your children and grandchildren? And if it’s the exchange, I’m totally into it.