“Democrats like to blame Republicans” for low vaccination rates, Patrick complained before falsely saying that “the biggest group in most states are African-Americans who have not been vaccinated.”
“The last time I checked, over 90% of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties,” he added.
Black people are not, as Patrick claimed, the biggest group of unvaccinated people in most states. Texas has 5.6 million unvaccinated white people, versus 1.9 million unvaccinated Black people, according to the Texas Tribune. A Kaiser Family Foundation report published this week found that white adults account for the largest share of unvaccinated adults in the U.S.
And while Patrick said that Republicans aren’t going to force the vaccine on people who don’t want it, he also blasted Democrats for “doing nothing for the African-American community that has a significant high number of unvaccinated.”
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blames unvaccinated Black people for Covid spread in his state pic.twitter.com/CfwajqECLM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 20, 2021
As of Aug. 13, Black Texans, who make up 11.8% of Texas’ population, accounted for 16.4% of the state’s coronavirus cases and 10.2% of coronavirus-related deaths, according to The Washington Post.
Black and Hispanic people are still less likely than white people to have received a vaccine, leaving them disproportionately at risk during the pandemic. There are various systemic reasons for this. But the Kaiser Family Foundation says that unvaccinated adults in those communities are also far more open to receiving a vaccine than unvaccinated white adults: Only 26% of unvaccinated Black and Hispanic adults said they will “definitely not” get a shot, versus 65% of unvaccinated white adults.
Twitter users had strong reactions to Patrick’s claims:
First they said it’s a hoax. Then they blame migrants. Now it’s black people’s fault. https://t.co/L9oUkMWaQP
— Benjamin Lowy (@benlowy) August 20, 2021
Some math:Unvaccinated White people in Texas: 12.1 million Unvaccinated Black people in Texas: 2.3 million12.1 million>2.3 million https://t.co/Br9pXchWbJ
— Eliott C. McLaughlin (@ByEliott) August 20, 2021
This rhetoric is flat out dangerous. @DanPatrick does everything he can to oppress Black and Brown Texans — from trying to deny us healthcare, to silencing our voices at the ballot box. Now, he's even blaming us for the #COVID19 surge. Ridiculous!Time for him to go, Texas. https://t.co/xdfLIJj9Ao
— Marc Veasey (@MarcVeasey) August 20, 2021
It's amazing how ridiculous the lies have to be now for their supporters to listen to them. https://t.co/T9uVag3Srn
— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 20, 2021
Dan Patrick & the Texas GOP ban mask mandates & spread anti-science lies that are directly responsible for filling ICU’s. & to distract from this, they ruin the #1 play from the GOP playbook, BLAME BLACK PEOPLE!You’d think this would force him to resign in disgrace, but nah. https://t.co/ZEMtnWQ0qA
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) August 20, 2021
Besides making this about race, the other issue here is framing vaccination as a Republican vs Democrat issue. He says here democrats have to convince their people and republicans have to convince theirs. A ridiculous portrayal of something that even shouldn’t be political. https://t.co/mlqdUACbp2
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 20, 2021
This is how you create white terrorists like the idiot who threatened to blow up DC yesterday. First Abbott and Patrick were blaming “illegals” for the problems in Texas. Now they’re blaming Black people. https://t.co/kWGjjgQIs1
— Thom Hartmann (@Thom_Hartmann) August 20, 2021
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) August 20, 2021
Wow. Dan has absolutely no morals left. What an ass… https://t.co/StenBZWJ6Z
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) August 20, 2021
This is not the first very bad take Patrick has had during the pandemic. In April 2020, he suggested “there are more important things than living” when he pushed to reopen the U.S. economy despite warnings from public health experts.
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