Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deflects criticism of COVID outbreak in his state by saying Democrats aren't getting enough Black Americans vaccinated

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deflects criticism of COVID outbreak in his state by saying Democrats aren't getting enough Black Americans vaccinated
·3 min read
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appearing on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle"
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appearing on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" Screenshot via Fox News
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blamed Texas' COVID-19 surge on Democrats not getting Black residents vaccinated.

  • "They're doing nothing for the African American community," Patrick claimed of Democratic leaders.

  • White Texans, however, account for twice as many of Texas COVID-19 cases as Black Texans.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick deflected criticism of the COVID-19 outbreak in his state by placing the blame on Democratic leaders failing to get enough Black Americans vaccinated.

Texas, like much of the rest of the southeastern United States, is seeing an explosion of COVID-19 cases primarily driven by spread of the Delta variant, which is particularly dangerous for those not vaccinated. COVID-19 cases have risen by 39%, hospitalizations by 55%, and deaths by 139% in Texas over the past 14 days, according to The New York Times.

Despite presiding in a state where Republicans control all statewide offices and the state legislature, Patrick elected to blame Democrats for not getting Black Americans vaccinated when asked by Fox News' Laura Ingraham to respond to criticism of the state's handling of the pandemic on Thursday night.

"Well Laura, the COVID is spreading, most of the numbers are among the unvaccinated, and the Democrats like to blame the Republicans on that. Well, the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated," Patrick said. "And last time I checked, over 90% of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties. So it's up to the Democrats to get - just as it's up to the 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 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 doing nothing for the African American community that has a significant number of unvaccinated people," Patrick added.

Patrick's comments drew swift condemnation from Democrats. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democratic congressman from New Jersey, tweeted: "This the republican party: murderous failure, contempt for humanity, and rancid racism" in response.

"More than 55,000 Texans are dead because of Dan Patrick's negligence-not because of Black Texans," Mike Collier, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2022, said. "Blaming Black people for your own shortcomings is not only despicable but straight out of the pages of the Jim Crow playbook. Texas deserves far better."

The notion that the spread in COVID-19 cases is driven by Black residents in Texas doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

Black residents, who make up just under 12% of the state population in Texas, account for 15% of COVID-19 cases, 11% of deaths, and 9% of vaccinations, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Non-Hispanic whites, who make up 39.8% of the population in Texas, account for 32% of cases, 42% of deaths, and 38% of vaccinations.

The US Census Bureau's Household Pulse survey for July 21 to August 2 found that 2.1 million non-Hispanic white Texans reported that they will probably not, definitely, or have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine compared to 703,594 Black Texans.

Black and Hispanic vaccination rates have lagged in many communities nationwide, but regions hard-hit by the Delta variant spike have seen noticeable increases in Black and Hispanic residents getting the vaccine, Bloomberg reported.

And while Patrick put on the onus on local governments to get people vaccinated and stem COVID-19 cases, the state's governor signed an executive order banning localities and government agencies from requiring vaccinations and signed a law banning private businesses from requiring that customers be vaccinated.

The state is also currently embroiled in a legal battle to enforce an order aiming to ban mask mandates in localities and school districts.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting