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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is slammed for blaming COVID surge on black Americans

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been slammed as racist after he blamed the recent Covid surge in his state on unvaccinated black people. 

The Republican governor made the claim on Fox News on Thursday, saying: ‘The Covid is spreading… and the Democrats like to blame Republicans on that. 

‘Well, the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated.

‘The last time I checked over 90 per cent of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties.’ 

His comments sparked instant backlash with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who is black, slamming them as ‘offensive’ and said they ‘should not be ignored’. 

There are an estimated 5.6million white people in Texas who are eligible yet unvaccinated. The same figure among black people – who make up a far smaller part of the overall population – is 1.9million. 

New Covid-19 cases over a seven-day average in Texas surged by 13,457 and at least 100 deaths have been reported over a seven-day average, according to the state health departments.

Hospitals in the state are also buckling under the strain of patients, with 12,402 Texans currently hospitalized. 

‘The Delta variant has Texas in one of its worst fights all pandemic,’ the health department warned in a tweet.    

On a Fox News segment Thursday night Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick blamed the recent Covid surge on unvaccinated Black people

Texas's Department of Health showed that there are an estimated 5.6million white people who are eligible yet unvaccinated. The same figure among black people - who make up a far smaller part of the overall population - is 1.9million

Texas’s Department of Health showed that there are an estimated 5.6million white people who are eligible yet unvaccinated. The same figure among black people – who make up a far smaller part of the overall population – is 1.9million

Patrick added fuel to the fire on Friday afternoon when he issued a statement responding to the uproar. Users on Twitter were outraged and denounced him as racist

Patrick added fuel to the fire on Friday afternoon when he issued a statement responding to the uproar. Users on Twitter were outraged and denounced him as racist

His comments sparked instant backlash with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who is black, slamming them as 'offensive' and said they 'should not be ignored'

His comments sparked instant backlash with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who is black, slamming them as ‘offensive’ and said they ‘should not be ignored’

The mayor later posted a video in response to the Fox segment calling Patrick’s comments ‘ridiculous’ because they ‘make no sense’ and were ‘contrary to the facts’. 

‘People across the board – even Republicans – should reject that statement,’ he said.

‘If you’re an elected official – I don’t care what party you may be affiliated – we have a responsibility to represent every single person. Whether people voted for me or not, as the Mayor of Houston, I represent every single one of them,’ Turner added.

One user tweeted to Patrick: ‘You owe African Americans of our Great State of Texas an apology.’

Other responses weren’t so classy and called the disgraced governor ‘a racist a**hole’ and ‘a crook’ while more said he needed to go find a new job.

The health department warned that new Covid-19 cases over a seven-day average in Texas surged by 13,457 and at least 100 deaths have been reported over a seven-day average

The health department warned that new Covid-19 cases over a seven-day average in Texas surged by 13,457 and at least 100 deaths have been reported over a seven-day average

The Texas Department of Health also tweeted a graphic of cases, deaths and hospitalizations as of August 18

The Texas Department of Health also tweeted a graphic of cases, deaths and hospitalizations as of August 18

People flooded Twitter with graphs and data on Texas’s demographics and Covid rate showing African Americans only make up 12 per cent of the state’s population. 

Doctors chimed in to prove Patrick’s statements were false. They posted charts from the US Census Bureau showing there are three unvaccinated white Texans for every one vaccinated black Texan, saying ‘disinformation is deadly’.

His comments on Fox came as Texas sees its highest hospitalization rates since January as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads.  

Patrick went on: ‘So it’s up to the Democrats – just as it’s up to Republicans – to try to get as many people vaccinated. 

‘But we respect the fact that if people don’t want the vaccination, we’re not going to force it on them. That’s their individual right.’ 

Patrick added fuel to the fire on Friday afternoon when he issued a statement responding to the uproar.

‘Not surprisingly Democrat social media trolls were up late misstating the facts and fanning the flames of their lies,’ the statement read.

In his response Patrick failed to address the false claim that African Americans make up the ‘biggest group’ of unvaccinated people but instead said: ‘(The data) clearly indicates that black vaccination rates are significantly lower than white or Hispanic rates.’

Meanwhile, there are an estimated 5.6million white people who are eligible yet unvaccinated as reported by the Texas Tribune. The same figure among black people – who make up a far smaller part of the overall population – is 1.9million.

And 4.9million Hispanic people in Texas – whose population is now nearly as large as the white population in the state – are unvaccinated. 

The disgraced governor's remarks came as Texas sees its highest hospitalization rates since January as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads

The disgraced governor’s remarks came as Texas sees its highest hospitalization rates since January as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads

In Houston hospitals have been forced to treat patients in the hallways and corridors as emergency rooms have become overwhelmed by the spike in Covid patients

In Houston hospitals have been forced to treat patients in the hallways and corridors as emergency rooms have become overwhelmed by the spike in Covid patients 

Also despite Patrick’s claims, the June poll from The Texas Tribune and the University of Texas at Austin reported vaccine hesitancy is higher among Republicans than it is among Black Texans.

A reported 38 per cent of Republicans said they wouldn’t get a vaccine as soon as it is available to them while 18 per cent of Black people agreed.   

Efforts to stop the surge in cases and hospitalizations are few and far between.

In July Texas Governor Greg Abbott even released an executive order banning any government agency – including school districts – from requiring masks to enter public buildings.  

Abbott has since tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week despite being fully vaccinated and many school districts are defying the executive order as the Delta variant surges.

Just over half the US population was fully vaccinated as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Since July 1 cases in the United States have grown by 600 per cent to now over 140,000 per day – with the Delta variant accounting for around 99 percent of case

To date 627,843 people have died due to Covid-19

However on the East Coast, black New Yorkers have the lowest vaccination rates and health advocates are having trouble persuading the group to get vaccinated.  

Citywide just 28 per cent of black New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 44 are fully vaccinated, according to NYC Health.

The data also showed that the Hispanic community is the second-least fully vaccinated population in that age group, with 49 per cent per cent being fully vaccinated.

The CEO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in New York City told CNN: ‘It’s extremely challenging fighting the misinformation we’re fighting. You know, Facebook, we’re fighting Twitter. But we’re also fighting people’s misperceptions and distrust of the system as a whole.’ 

Far Rockaway, Queens, was the New York borough hit hardest by the pandemic, CNN reported. One out of every seven people have been diagnosed with the virus and just 35 per cent of people there are fully vaccinated – the lowest in the city.

Nearly half the population in Far Rockaway is Black and about a quarter is Hispanic. 

Covid cases all over the United States have rapidly grown throughout the summer with the emergence of the Delta variant.

Since July 1, cases in the US have spiked by 600 per cent to now over 140,000 per day – with the Delta variant accounting for around 99 per cent of cases.

Nearly 200 million people – just over 60 per cent of the US population – had received at least one vaccine dose as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just over half of the population was fully vaccinated.


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