Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez recently called for ‘reparations’ for Blacks and Hispanics because they’re dying from the coronavirus at higher rates than whites and Asians. Cortez claims that ‘environmental racism’ is the reason for this while statistically, this is far from the truth.
According to recently released data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, it is true that Blacks are dying at higher rates than whites and Asians, but none of the reasons for this are ‘racism’ as she claims. Blacks make up 12% of Michigan’s population, but of the state’s 433 COVID-19 deaths, approximately 40% are Black, 26% are white, 2.5% are Asian, and the rest are mixed race or unknown.
COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities.
Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions.
Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 3, 2020
The outbreak has been a far deadlier threat in New Orleans than the rest of the United States. New Orleans has a per-capita rate of death that is far higher than even New York City. Doctors, Virologists, and public health data say that high levels of obesity and related ailments is most of the problem.
Obesity and Underlying Health Conditions
Approximately 97% of those killed by COVID-19 in Louisiana had a preexisting condition, according to the state health department. Diabetes was seen in 40% of the deaths, chronic kidney disease in 23% and cardiac problems in 21%. Many of these ailments stem directly from obesity and in a major portion of of the people who die from COVID-19 are obese.
Thanks to the CDC, we have really good data on the obesity rates in America by race, and when this is broken down for AOC, it might make a lot more sense to her:
A much larger portion of the Black community in America have underlying health conditions than White Americans do. Diabetes is a major factor persisting in many of the COVID-19 deaths across the country. Here is the breakdown by race according to the American Diabetes Association
- 7.6% of non-Hispanic whites
- 9% of Asian Americans
- 12.8% of Hispanics
- 13.2% of non-Hispanic blacks
- 15.9% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives
Population Density Play a Major Role
Population density is also a major factor in the spread of COVID-19. Blacks and Hispanics tend to live in more densely populated areas and closer together. Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, and Asians also all tend to self-segregate from each other on average across the nation.
If we look at data from the national racial dot map, we can see that Black Americans and Hispanics are at a much higher risk.
Refusing to Practice Social Distancing
Black Americans also seem to be refusing to practice social distancing. Across social media, we have witnessed well documented proof of this. The hundreds of viral videos going around the top three social media sites may be considered anecdotal by some, but I am willing to bet these videos are representative of a broader issue.
Police in New Orleans and Michigan have even admitted during press conferences that they are having difficulty efficiently enforcing social distancing in urban communities. This is apparently because of the sheer refusal to quarantine by certain groups on average.
Here is one example of this:
‘Reparations’ Have Already Been Paid 100 Times Over
As the coronavirus crisis ravages the U.S. economy, millions of Americans are about to receive help from Congress in the form of direct cash payments.
If you made less than $75,000 in 2019, you will be eligible for the full payment of $1,200. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. An individual who filed as “head of household” and earned $112,500 or less gets $1,200.
As far as reparations are concerned, if we look at which ethnic groups in America are paying more into the system than they’re using, and then compare this to the individual and household income by race, a much clearer picture is painted.
From widely available income and welfare data, we can see that on average, White Americans and Asians are paying more into the system than they use, and largely will be footing the bill for the economic relief package. The relief package effectively is reparations, and so is most everything else these groups receive from the government.
Let’s also not forget that for the past few weeks state leaders like Bill Deblasio, health officials, and media have been telling millions of people in the most populous areas of the country not to worry about contracting the coronavirus, and to carry on with your lives as normal.
Outside of the Washington Post telling Americans that the ‘flu is much worse,’ Nancy Pelosi, the New York City health commissioner, and many others, were telling people to do things like ‘go to China town’ for parades, and get out to the theaters to see your favorite movies.