October 1, 2023

Fact check! Dan Patrick blames African Americans for COVID spread

By: Roy Douglas Malonson

Now, I have heard some racist junk in my time and, unfortunately, it just doesn’t get any better – or easier – to listen to politicians say the damndest things against our Black people.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is blaming unvaccinated Black people for the COVID-19 surge in Texas and across the nation. His sources for this claim? An incorrect Facebook post.

Patrick made the remarks recently on a Fox News segment when questioned about the latest COVID-19 surge.

“The COVID is spreading particularly, most of the numbers are with the unvaccinated and the Democrats like to blame Republicans on that. Well, the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated.”

Say what? Patrick really went there on national television, blatantly stating that Black people are spreading the virus, when the Republican party members have been the most vocal in anti-mask, anti-vaccination rallies and political meetings.

Numerous statistics and analyses disprove Patrick’s statement. Let’s look at the facts.

Black people make up almost 13% of the United States population and are not the “biggest group” of unvaccinated people in Texas or the nation. An analysis by the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) found that white people held the largest amount of unvaccinated people across the country.

Another analysis by the KFF found that Black people accounted for more than 50% of positive COVID-19 cases in only two out of 35 analyzed states.

In Texas, Black people only account for 15% of positive COVID-19 cases compared to 52% of Hispanic people and 32% of whites.

Self-reported data from KFF stated that 65% of African American people said they received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to 70% of whites and 61% of Hispanic people.

Another analysis found that across 40 states, 40% of Black people are vaccinated compared to 50% of whites.

While Black and Hispanic communities are less likely to have received a vaccine, Black people’s vaccination rates are steadily increasing as white people’s rates are declining.

While the effectiveness of current vaccines is declining against new COVID-19 variants, the vaccines are still very effective in greatly reducing hospitalization and severe symptoms. Some of our Texas GOP leaders can attest to that as a few of them have contracted the virus while vaccinated.

Governor Greg Abbott tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, just four days after a positive diagnosis. He credits his vaccination for the “brief and mild” infection and encourages Texans to take the vaccine.

“I am told that my infection was brief and mild because of the vaccination I received,” Abbott said in a video he posted on Twitter last weekend. “So, I encourage others who have not yet received the vaccination to consider getting one.”

After testing positive, the Governor received Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment. In the video, Gov. Abbott said he would continue to open more antibody therapy centers across the state.

And while Abbott supports the vaccines, he is seemingly denouncing masks as he refuses to order a mask mandate in Texas despite seeing the alarming increase in hospitalizations across the state. Abbott was also refusing to issue mask mandates in schools, even though he knew there are many school children who are too young to receive the vaccines, and are getting sick.  What is his rhyme or reason? We believe not even he knows.

The “anti-vax” mindset around the nation won’t back down, and even the creator of this ideology that the science is a lie, Donald Trump, can’t control his own creation.

In a speech in Alabama last weekend, Trump found himself booed by his own cult for admitting that he took the vaccine and encouraging others to do the same.

“I believe totally in your freedoms, I do. But you got to do what you have to do, but I recommend, take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines, but you got … [BOOING] … No, that’s okay. That’s all right. You got your freedoms,” he said to the crowd. “But I happened to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know, OK. I’ll call up Alabama and say, ‘Hey, you know what?’ But it is working. But you do have your freedoms. You have to keep, you have to maintain that. You have to maintain that.”

Trump has spent his entire presidency labeling facts as “fake news,” claiming the election was stolen, and publicly speaking against science during the pandemic.

It seems many of his impressionable followers took those messages to heart and are willing to put the health of the nation at risk, just so they can fight against this imaginary threat to their freedoms.

Had our state leaders taken action at the beginning of this surge and enforced mask mandates, Texas would not be at this level of infection.

Instead, our leaders are so incompetent, they would rather find scapegoats, such as the Black community, and put us in danger of violent hate crimes to cover up their inability to lead.

What’s next? Wait, don’t answer that. We will just wait to see what foolishness comes out of our elected leaders’ mouths next.  In the meantime, FOLLOW THE SCIENCE, GET VACCINATED and WEAR YOUR MASKS!


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