*Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar is on the receiving end of a widespread backlash after he blamed African Americans and other minorities on Sunday for their poor health being a contributing factor to the high number of deaths from coronavirus in the U.S.
“Unfortunately, the American population is a (sic) very diverse – and it is a population with significant unhealthy comorbidities that do make many individuals in our communities – in particular African American, minority communities – particularly at risk here because of significant underlying disease, health disparities and disease comorbidities,” Azar told CNN’s State of the Union host Jake Tapper Sunday morning.
“And that is an unfortunate legacy in our health care system that we certainly do need to address,” Azar continued.
Yes, those words actually came out of his mouth. You can best believe social media users did not take the HHS secretary’s comments lightly, airing their grievances with Donald Trump’s administration on Twitter.
Blaming the 80,000+ human beings who have been killed by Covid-19 for their fate is the most disgusting deflection yet from an administration that was asleep at the switch. This whole Trump team is worse than worthless https://t.co/8uZNTYEQWV
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) May 17, 2020
“Blaming the 80,000+ human beings who have been killed by Covid-19 for their fate is the most disgusting deflection yet from an administration that was asleep at the switch,” Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar and Harvard Law professor, tweeted. ‘This whole Trump team is worse than worthless.”
Another Twitter user posted: “The racism is non-stop this mornin’. In pure White Supremacist fashion, the Trump administration blames black people for the high death rates.”
Sergio Grant, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, also went in on Trump and Azar.
“So I see the @realDonaldTrump administration, represented here by Alex Azar, has moved from blaming China for American coronavirus deaths, to blaming the American people for their own deaths. Classy,” he tweeted.
As of May 11, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab, 17,155 black Americans are known to have died due to Covid-19, according to CNN.
The CNN report goes on to note that approximately 17,000 known African American deaths is out of nearly 65,000 fatalities for which race and ethnicity data was available. More than 80,000 people in total had lost their lives to the coronavirus at the time of the analysis.
Here’s the context: African Americans make up about 13% of the population in those places but 27% of Covid-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity is known, APM research showed.