With the Trump administration at the helm of the national Coronavirus response, Americans can’t even count on the effective distribution of lifesaving medical supplies to just about anywhere in the country, let alone the marginalized communities that have been especially hit hard. Repeatedly, when data showing a racial breakdown of Coronavirus cases and deaths has become available, black Americans have made up portions of the suffering that are significantly higher than their portions of the general population. This Monday, former President Barack Obama issued a public call for local leaders to take the emerging data especially seriously while formulating their specialized responses to the pandemic.
Linking to an article from The Atlantic explaining the huge racial disparity in Coronavirus cases and deaths, Obama shared:
‘We can’t deny that racial and socioeconomic factors are playing a role in who is being hit the hardest by the virus. It’s a reminder for our policymakers to keep our most vulnerable communities at the forefront when making decisions.’
We can't deny that racial and socioeconomic factors are playing a role in who is being hit the hardest by the virus. It's a reminder for our policymakers to keep our most vulnerable communities at the forefront when making decisions.https://t.co/aipc8p7Hwh
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 13, 2020
The data has already proven to tell an alarming story. The article that Obama shared went up about a week before he posted it, and by publication, black Americans already made up a full 40 percent of the Coronavirus deaths in Michigan, despite making up just 14.1 percent of the state’s general population, and they made up a stunning 81 percent of the deaths in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, despite comprising just 26 percent of the county’s population. That means that the death rate for black Americans was more than three times the rate that they’re even found among the general population to begin with in that county.
As Obama himself indicated, socioeconomic factors weigh heavily on the situation. If marginalized communities don’t have as much access to effective medical facilities as those in more privileged areas, they would summarily end up more at-risk amidst a pandemic. The Trump administration has repeatedly and consistently fumbled attempts to get resources out to communities that need them. Led in part by Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, the White House’s supply chain task force has occasionally even intercepted medical supply shipments heading for hard-hit locales because they’d struck a deal with the companies to themselves decide where the supplies would head, period.
Some governors claim that suppliers have told them, even after they've ordered shipments, that the Trump administration has instructed them not to send supplies to some states.https://t.co/tyKlg1Dz3L
— Cate Eland (@RomancingNope) April 6, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama…