Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has once again grabbed the limelight for the wrong reasons. The Republican politician came under fire recently for his ignorant, racist comment during an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News. While addressing the record-high number of COVID cases in his state Texas, Dan Patrick put the blame on the Black community, especially the Democrat voters. “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 in their major cities and major counties, so it’s up to the Democrats to get just as that it’s up to Republicans to try to get as many people vaccinated,” Patrick said.
As of August 16, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 58% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Of those known, less than half of Black, Hispanic, and White people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in a majority of states reporting data. The vaccination rate for Black people is less than 50% in 33 of 42 reporting states, including 6 states where less than a third of Black people have received one or more doses. Similarly, less than half of Hispanic people have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in 30 of 40 reporting states, including 3 states where less than a third have received at least one dose. The rate remains below 50% for White people in 25 of 42 states but falls below a third in only one state, Idaho. In contrast, at least half of Asian people have received one or more doses in most reporting states (35 of 39).
According to figures from the CDC, Black people in Texas account for 11% of covid deaths and 15% of cases, with white people making up 42% of deaths and 32% of cases. Dan Patrick appears to blatantly be wrong in his imbecilic comment.
This is not the first time Dan Patrick has riled up social media users for his problematic remarks. The staunch Donald Trump loyalist backed the former President’s unfounded claim of voter fraud in the 2020 Elections, even offering $1 million reward to anyone who reported about the same. However, this time Patrick shocked everyone with his racist claims. Meanwhile, the state had consistently opposed the mask mandate in schools and other public places until recently. The ban was in accordance with embattled Governor Greg Abbott’s orders, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 on August 18.
On August 19, 2021, Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ ‘The Ingraham Angle’ where host Laura Ingraham asked him about the reason behind the spike in COVID-19 in his state. “Most of the numbers are with the unvaccinated and the Democrats like to blame Republicans on that,” the Lt Governor said, before putting the blame on the Black community.
He further added that while he respects the individual rights of people against vaccination, nothing is being done to the “African-American community that has a significantly high number of unvaccinated people.”
Author Keith Boykin tweeted, “Texas Governor Greg Abbott is blocking the Black mayors of Houston and Dallas from implementing CDC-recommended Covid rules to save people’s lives and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has the audacity to blame Black people for the spread of Covid in his state.”
“Trump and his bigoted stooges, like Dan Patrick have gone from blaming COVID on Asian people to Latinos to Black people,” political satirist Jeremy Newberger tweeted.
Stanford Medical researcher Jorge A. Caballero responded to Patrick’s comments on Twitter, saying, “Per the Census Bureau, 50% of unvaccinated adults in Texas are White (non-Hispanic) There are 3 unvaccinated White adults for every 1 unvaccinated Black adult in Texas 1 in 3 #COVID19 cases in Texas have been among White individuals Oh yeah, and Dan Patrick is a racist.”
Barely two weeks ago, Dan Patrick made an appearance on Fox News where he spoke against the mask mandate in the state, while criticizing the Biden administration.
“I have six, soon to be seven grandchildren and four of them are in elementary school. I’m not going to tell my son and my daughter-in-law, what to do with their children regarding masks. I’m not going to tell my daughter and son-in-law what to do about their children and their masks. That’s up to my daughter and my son to make that decision based on a lot of factors,” he had said at the time.