The attacks heated up Thursday when Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claimed that African Americans were to blame for the ever-increasing wave of coronavirus cases.
Patrick was asked on Fox News to respond to criticisms over his state’s handling of the pandemic.
“The Covid is spreading,” Patrick said, “particularly, most of the numbers are with the unvaccinated 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 percent of them vote for Democrats,” Patrick said, adding that it’s up to Democrats and Republicans to get people vaccinated.
According to data analyzed by KFF, Black people made up over 50% of positive Covid cases in only two of the 35 analyzed places as of August 16: the District of Columbia and Mississippi. Specifically, in Patrick’s state of Texas, Black people represent 15% of cases, Hispanics 52% and White people 32%.
In his response to CNN, Patrick’s office pointed to a Facebook post from the Lieutenant Governor which incorrectly claimed “Federal and State data clearly indicate that Black vaccination rates are significantly lower than White or Hispanic rates.”
The KFF analysis notes that “Black and Hispanic people remain less likely than their White counterparts to have received a vaccine.” However, vaccination rates among Black people continue to increase while the rate among White people is on the decline.