Alex Azar Comes Under Fire for Blaming Americans’ Poor Health – Especially African Americans – for the Country’s World Record Coronavirus Death Toll
Katelyn Caralle, Daily Mail, May 18, 2020
Alex Azar received widespread backlash after he blamed Americans, especially those in minority communities, Sunday for their poor health contributing 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,’ the Health and Human Services secretary told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning.
‘And that is an unfortunate legacy in our health care system that we certainly do need to address,’ Azar continued.
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,’ 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 bashed 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.
Several reports have indicated that minority communities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus – so much so that states have begun reporting death tolls by race.
A report revealed that as of May 1, African Americans made up 32 per cent of the coronavirus deaths in Wisconsin, even though they only make up 6.7 per cent of the population there.
Michigan and Missouri, where African Americans account for roughly 40 per cent of coronavirus deaths, comprise just 14 per cent and 12 per cent of the population, respectively.
As of Monday, more than 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus and more than 90,000 people have died in the U.S. – while immunocompromised and already ill individuals are more likely to fall fatal after contracting the disease.