Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared on social media that she believed the coronavirus pandemic was “disproportionately” affecting minority groups.
“COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities,” she said in a tweet. Adding “Inequality is a comorbidity [sic].”
The New York Democrat claimed “redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc.” are contributing to the alleged disproportionate rate.
Check it out:
COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities.
Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions.
Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 3, 2020
Black, Brown and Indigenous. The Navajo Nation had 214 confirmed cases and seven deaths as of yesterday.
Some don’t even have running water to wash their hands.
Let that sink in. https://t.co/pVcbPw9bQc
— Julian Brave NoiseCat (@jnoisecat) April 3, 2020
While fellow Democratic Congresswoman and “squad” member Ilhan Omar did not comment on Ocasio-Cortez’s post, the Republican woman running again Omar did.
Dalia al Aqidi criticized the New Yorker for making the coronavirus about race and for stoking “racial grievance.”
“Where is the evidence for this?” al Aqidi asked, as the Washington Examiner reports. “AOC and her sidekick Ilhan Omar do nothing but tear at the fabric of America, and stoke racial grievance. It does nothing but set us against each other. We can’t afford that now. Hasn’t America had enough of this?”
Where is the evidence for this?
AOC and her sidekick Ilhan Omar do nothing but tear at the fabric of America, and stoke racial grievance. It does nothing but set is against each other. We can’t afford that now.
Hasn’t America had enough of this? https://t.co/kqv9n0asr6
— Dalia al-Aqidi (@Dalia4Congress) April 3, 2020
The report adds:
Al Aqidi, an Iraqi refugee, is one of several Republicans challenging Omar for her seat in Congress. A poll conducted last year showed Omar’s approval rating sits at 25% compared with a 34% disapproval rating.
“This is a very serious time for our country,” al Aqidi told Washington Examiner. “The unemployment numbers are staggering, and we’re facing the prospect of losing a massive chunk of America’s small businesses by the time this is over. It’s no time for fanatical, left-wing nonsense, and SJW word salads.”
“Omar and AOC and the rest of the radical Democrats are always pitting Americans against each other by race,” she continued. “They want minorities in the United States to be full of rage and hate toward our fellow citizens. AOC’s tweet is literally insane. It was always harmful to America for people to believe these crazy things, but now, it’s dangerous.”
Responding to the claim, conservative pundit Matt Polumbo said no such correlation exists to support her. Writing via former Secret Service Dan Bongino’s website, Polumbo wrote:
While Democrat Rep. Fredrica Wilson attempted to politicize the crisis by arguing that the virus was sexist against women (despite 70% of the deaths so far being men), AOC believes the virus is actually racist (a very important distinction!).
My first thought was that the racial disparity must be the result of population density – because minorities, on average, tend to live in more population dense areas such as cities.
But when I looked for the exact data to investigate my thesis, I only found a complete lack of it. Ibram X. Kendi, a “Director of Antiracist Research” at American University shares AOC concerns, but noted in a recent article in The Atlantic that the data just don’t exist (yet).
By almost every measure, our Queens community is the hardest hit in the country by COVID.
I am heartbroken to share that Priscilla Carrow, a giant & compassionate leader who served as an Elmhurst hospital worker, Community Board 4 member, CWA local 1180 member, has passed. https://t.co/KDjiIfQjYM
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 3, 2020
Kendi admitted the data does not exist to support his and Ocasio-Cortez’s claim, but nonetheless, he said he was worried that it was occurring.
Via The Atlantic, the professor said:
I worry the virus is disproportionately infecting and killing people of color right now—and we don’t even know. I worry the pandemic of racism is worsening the coronavirus pandemic right now—and we don’t even know. And Americans don’t seem to care to know.
I suspect that some Americans believe that racial data will worsen racism. But without racial data, we can’t see whether there are disparities between the races in coronavirus testing, infection, and death rates. If we can’t see racial disparities, then we can’t see the racist policies behind any disparities and deaths. If we can’t see racist policies, we can’t eliminate racist policies, or replace them with anti-racist policies that protect equity and life. Without racial data, we can’t see racism, and racism becomes like asymptomatic carriers—spreading the virus, and no one knows it.