On Tuesday (April 7), Donald Trump held his daily press conference and acknowledged that African Americans are disproportionately contracting the coronavirus and are dying at a much higher rate than whites. He promised his administration would “provide support” to Black communities without giving any specifics about what that support would look like.
“We’re doing everything in our power to address this challenge. It's a tremendous challenge. It's terrible,” he said while briefing reporters.
The president then said his administration would “provide support” to African Americans but didn’t detail how the alarming problem would be specifically tackled and what resources would be used to slow the spread within the Black community.
Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, later admitted that because African Americans are more likely to have underlying health conditions such as diabetes and asthma, they are more at risk from dying from COVID-19.
“It’s very sad. It's nothing we can do about it right now except to try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications,” Fauci said.
Also during the press conference, Trump brought up an African American woman from Michigan who “thanked” him because she took hydroxychloroquine, which she believes cured her case of COVID-19, and then highlighted her “manner of speaking” as impressive. Hydroxychloroquine is not a proven treatment for the novel coronavirus and it has not been recommended for consumer use by the CDC, yet the president has advocated for its use on numerous occasions.
On Monday (April 6), the New York Times reported, “If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.”
They bring up African Americans dying disproportionately because of COVID-19 so Trump just brings up the African American woman who “thanked” him... “Speaking of African Americans”... he then went on to highlight her “manner of speaking” was impressive... 🤨 #TrumpPressConference— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) April 7, 2020
Appearing on CBS This Morning, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday that African Americans are at a higher risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I and many Black Americans are at higher risk for COVID,” Adams said. “Testing is a concern, we're going to be at 2 million tests this week and it's rapidly ramping up with the commercial industry... at the end of the month we should not only be doing diagnostic testing but also doing surveillance testing across the country."
This week, data released by the Louisiana Department of Health showed that Black people account for 70 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state, despite making up just 32 percent of the population.
In Michigan and Illinois, African Americans account for roughly a third of coronavirus cases and about 40 percent of deaths, even though they make up only 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of those states' populations.
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