Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that the coronavirus is strongly affecting the black community among other groups in the U.S.
Trump said African Americans are disproportionately getting infected and dying of COVID-19.
“We’re doing everything in our power to address this challenge, it’s a tremendous challenge. It’s terrible,” Trump said during a White House briefing with reporters. “And provide support to African American citizens of this country who are going through a lot but it’s been disproportional. They’re getting hit very, very hard.”
Trump didn’t specify his administration’s plans to help out the black community, but he did invite Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been the lead medical expert on the pandemic, to expound on what’s going on.
Fauci said African Americans are more likely to have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, putting them at a greater risk of serious illness or death from the coronavirus.
“It’s very sad. It’s nothing we can do about it right now except to try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications,” Fauci said.
The Trump administration and state health departments have been under pressure from advocates to release a racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to The Hill.
Trump said his administration would release some “very, very nasty” numbers over the next few days and while some states have released data, it’s still largely unknown how widely COVID-19 has hit communities of color.
Data released by the Louisiana Department of Health this week showed black people account for 70 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state, even though they only make up just 32 percent of the population.
In Michigan and Illinois, African Americans account for about a third of coronavirus cases and about 40 percent of deaths but that demographic only makes up 15 and 14 percent, respectively, of the states’ total populations.
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