Ocasio-Cortez claims COVID deaths spiking among minorities: Is it true?

Ocasio-Cortez claims COVID deaths spiking among minorities: Is it true?
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That took her longer than usual. She must be slipping. The coronavirus pandemic has been in the headlines for a couple months and only now is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting around to demanding reparations for minorities who contract the virus.

What are the grounds for demand this time? “COVID deaths,” she claims in a tweet, “are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities.”

For starters, is it true? Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, lamented a mere two days ago the paucity of data “on whether the virus is having a disproportionate impact on some communities.” What little data he did have at his disposal, from the Illinois Department of Public Health, showed that blacks in that state were indeed overrepresented among coronavirus infections.

Hispanics, however, were not. In fact, their rate of infection —they comprise 17.4% of the state population and account for only 7% of the cases — was among the lowest of any demographic. Whites, in contrast, make up 76.9% of the state population and account for 39% of the confirmed cases.

But putting aside entirely the rate of infection by skin color, the simple truth is that COVID-19 is colorblind. If you are a member of a high-risk group or engage in high-risk behaviors, your chances of becoming sick are greater.

Ocasio-Cortez’s metaphorical word play aside, inequality is decidedly not a comorbidity. Nor are redlining and environmental racism, whatever that is, factors in who gets ill.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.