Texas Lieutenant Gov. Slammed After Blaming Unvaccinated Black People For Spread Of Virus In The State
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican, is facing heavy backlash after he suggested that unvaccinated Black people are to blame for the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
Patrick made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News, which you can watch below.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blames unvaccinated Black people for Covid spread in his statepic.twitter.com/CfwajqECLM— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1629425834
Speaking to Fox News personality Laura Ingraham, Patrick said:
"Well Laura, 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."
"Last time I checked, more than 90% of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties."
Patrick went on to say that it's "up to the Democrats" to remedy the issue with the Black community, even though Texas is entirely Republican control:
"It's up to Democrats, just as it's up to Republicans to try to get as many people vaccinated, but we respect the fact that if people don't want the vaccination, we're not going to force it on them."
"That's their individual right. But in terms of criticizing the Republicans for this, we're encouraging people who want to take it to take it."
"But they're [Democrats] doing nothing for the African American community that has a significant, high number of unvaccinated people, so they need to address that."
Patrick's statements are both false and misleading.
A Washington Postanalysis of the latest data from the Texas Department of State Health Services "shows that the African American population there is not driving the increase in cases."
The data suggests that unvaccinated White Texans outnumber unvaccinated Black Texans by a margin of three-to-one. Whites and Hispanics also make up the bulk of Texas's population, accounting for the rise in cases there.
Additionally, Patrick has largely marched in lockstep behind Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who has blocked efforts to impose mask mandates in the state.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced yesterday that Abbott's ban on mask mandates has been dropped for now amid ongoing court challenges.
The about-face came the same week that Abbott tested positive for Covid-19 himself after spending much of the last year downplaying the pandemic's severity.
Abbott––and Patrick––have also pushed to keep the state's economy open despite a rising tide of cases.
These facts were not lost on Patrick's critics, who lambasted him for eschewing his responsibility.
They accused him of further policizing the pandemic and employing racist dog whistles.
Besides making this about race, the other issue here is framing vaccination as a Republican vs Democrat issue. He says here democrats have to convince their people and republicans have to convince theirs. A ridiculous portrayal of something that even shouldn\u2019t be political.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Stephen Holder (@Stephen Holder) 1629470271
This is how you create white terrorists like the idiot who threatened to blow up DC yesterday. First Abbott and Patrick were blaming \u201cillegals\u201d for the problems in Texas. Now they\u2019re blaming Black people.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Thom Hartmann (@Thom Hartmann) 1629467516
Aw yes, the American tradition of blaming black people for what white people are actually doing. A tradition like no other.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— He Who Retains (@He Who Retains) 1629466391
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is delusional. Black Texans are not the driving force behind the surge of Covid cases in Texas. Falsely casting blame on the Black community is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and we expect better from an elected official.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Derrick Johnson (@Derrick Johnson) 1629468812
Shorter version : You Democrats need to so something about your blackshttps://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Dr. Jason Johnson (@Dr. Jason Johnson) 1629469521
Dear @DanPatrickTX \n\nThis is not the first racist thing you have said.\n\nIt's part of a long pattern of racism throughout your career. Sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but it's always there.\n\nYou're a racist.\n\nYou're a racist.\n\nYou're a racist.\n\nYou're a racist.\n\nYou're a racist.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Don Winslow (@Don Winslow) 1629453233
This is actually worse than described. Patrick is not simply saying fewer black people are vaccinated, he\u2019s saying black people vote for Democrats so it\u2019s not his responsibility.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1428541606391582728\u00a0\u2026— Adam Serwer \ud83c\udf5d (@Adam Serwer \ud83c\udf5d) 1629462587
Patrick was widely condemned last year when he suggested that the elderly and infirm should be willing to die to keep than economy open rather than adopt common-sense public health measures to stem Covid-19.
Patrick made his remarks during a March 2020 interview with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, with whom he'd discussed then-President Donald Trump's efforts not to shut down the economy entirely.
"Tucker, no one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren, and if that's the exchange, I'm all in, and that doesn't make me noble or brave or anything like that." ...
"My heart is lifted by what I heard the President say, because we can do more than one thing at a time."
"We can do two things, so my message is let's get back to work, let's get back to living, let's be smart about it, and those of us who are seventy plus, we'll take care of ourselves, but don't sacrifice the country."
"Don't do that. Don't ruin this great American dream."
Will Patrick ever take responsibility for a crisis that has left more than 55,000 Texans dead? The jury's still out on that one.