Don’t be surprised if you see Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name on the ballot for a high political office in this nation — maybe even the top office. I’m just spitballing here, but the more Fauci says in public, the more he sounds like a health professional in search of a career in politics.
And in case you’re wondering which side of the ideological divide Fauci falls on, he made that abundantly clear in a commencement speech at this year’s graduation ceremony for Emory University.
“COVID-19 has shone a bright light on our own society’s failings,” Fauci said via webcast, according to the Associated Press. He went on to enumerate the specific adverse impacts the pandemic has had on minorities — especially blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians:
- Many members of minority groups work in essential jobs where they might be exposed to the coronavirus.
- Members of minority groups are more likely to become infected if exposed because of pre-existing chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes or obesity.
There is no question of the accuracy of either of these bullet points. There is, however, plenty of room for debate on the causation. Hypertension (aka high blood pressure), for example, is far more prevalent among blacks than in any other demographic. According to the CDC, 54% of blacks suffer from hypertension as opposed to 46% of whites, 39% of Asians, and 36% of Hispanics.
But hypertension, which increases the risk of the two leading causes of death in the U.S., heart disease and stroke, is almost entirely attributable to lifestyle choices. American blacks as a whole make notoriously unsound dietary choices that are often high in fat. How is this reality a failing of society or a symptom of systemic racism?
Surely, Fauci, who is a physician, is aware of the dangers of poor nutritional habits, so why didn’t he address this factor?
Correcting the putative racial imbalance Fauci alludes to has yielded some undesirable effects in dealing with the COVID pandemic. Back in April, when the COVID vaccine was in short supply, several states bumped racial minorities to the front of the line for injections. One of those states, Viriginia, ended up with 11,000 unused doses of the vaccine.