President Donald Trump on Tuesday said new research shows the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting black Americans across the country.
“This is a real problem and it is showing up very strongly in our data on the African-American community,” Trump said during his daily coronavirus briefing.
“They are getting hit very, very hard,” he said.
Dr. Deborah Brix, the White House coronavirus coordinator, stressed the data didn’t show black Americans are more susceptible to the disease.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the data “shines a bright light” on the health disparity between whites and African Americans.
It is not that they are getting infected more often. It’s that when they do get infected, their underlying conditions often make it harder to fight the virus, Fauci said.
“We’ve known forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionately afflicting minority populations, particularly African Americans,” Fauci said.
Unfortunately, these diseases often lead to a bad outcomes with the coronavirus — the very conditions that gets people into intensive-care units, require ventilators and often lead to death, Fauci said.
“We’re very concerned about that, it is very sad. There is nothing we can do about that right now except to try to get them the best possible care to avoid those complications,” he said.
The president’s announcement came shortly after the New York Times published a report citing the disproportionate impact among black Americans that was based on data released by several states and big cities.