President Trump, responding to a question from the Washington Blade, said Tuesday data he previously promised within days on the coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on black Americans would now be out “within two weeks.”
Trump, asked Tuesday by the Blade during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden why that information wasn’t yet available, replied, “Yes. That’s being worked on very strongly.”
In response to a follow-up question on when it would be out, Trump declared the two week timeframe and pointed to Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, who was seated before him in the Rose Garden.
“I would say within two weeks, and it’s being worked on, Deborah, we’re working on that very strongly,” Trump said. “OK, CDC is working, but we’re getting reports.”
Last week, Trump told reporters his administration in “probably two to three days” would provide nationwide data on the coronavirus’ impact on black people, which states are gathering and compiling. At the same time, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, echoed the expectation the data would be out within days or the coming week.
But the data has yet to come forward, nor has any plan from the Trump administration to address COVID-19’s impact on racial minorities in America (let alone LGBTQ Americans.)
Thus far, state data has revealed black Americans are suffering from the coronavirus at rates disproportionate to their population.
In Michigan, for example, 35 percent of all COVID-19 cases are black or African-American, as are 40 percent of all deceased cases, according to state data. But the black or African-American population makes up just 14.1 percent of Michigan’s population.
Fauci — who wasn’t present at the Rose Garden news conference — said COVID-19’s has a disproportionate impact on black people not because they’re getting infected more often, but because the population suffers from health disparities.
“When they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions — the diabetes, the hypertension, the obesity, the asthma — those are the kind of things that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate,” Fauci said.
Although states are collecting information on the racial and ethnic identities of COVID-19 patients, they aren’t ascertaining whether patients are LGBTQ. The lack of information has angered LGBTQ advocates, who are calling for greater data collection on the basis LGBTQ people are at risk to COVID-19.