Racism in America: The Corona Virus?

The media seems to be having a difficult time making up their mind about whether the Corona Virus outbreak and widespread Covid-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is “Racist”.

Story after story has been appearing in the media highlighting the fact that a large percentage of Covid-19 patients, and a large number of Covid-19 related deaths in the United States is being experienced in the black community.

These stories go on to imply (without explicitly stating it) that there is a racist component to the disease outbreak in the United States.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/11/coronavirus-black-america-racism/

https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/4/7/21211849/coronavirus-black-americans

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-racism-african-americans.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/race-and-blame/609946/

These stories universally are assigning the incidence of disease in the black community to racism that they declare is inherent in our system in the United States. Everyone except for the individuals themselves is to blame.

These stories are obviously intended to bolster the agenda of the Democrat socialists for government controlled medicine, and an expansion of single payer government supported programs.

Unfortunately, the truth is a bit more complex. First, look at this story. Specifically the on situation in South Africa:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52230991

South Africa has a majority of black citizens. It has a much worse history of racial discrimination, and continues to deal with high levels of racism. Assuming that the Corona virus doesn’t select individuals to infect based on race, there must be something other than racism that is controlling the virus progression to disease in South Africa, and that is not helping blacks in the United States.

South Africa has focused on aggressive testing and then tracing and isolating contacts. The disease curve has leveled off in South Africa, in spite of more extensive testing.

https://www.vox.com/2020/4/21/21225002/coronavirus-africa-cases-death-food-debt-economy

Only about 2% of the Sub Saharan population is under 65 years of age. The lifestyle of activity and the overall diet there doesn’t promote heart disease like it does in the US.

Could it be that the lifestyle (including longevity, overweight, diabetes, pulmonary and heart disease) has as much or more to do with vulnerability to Covid-19 disease and death in the USA as it does racism? Those causes, it would seem, require some level of personal responsibility….

But we know that one of the fundamental planks of Democrat socialist thought is to ignore personal responsibility and blame others (including the government) for your problems.

To be clear. A virus isn’t racist. Even the most indigent of citizens in the USA have access to medical care through extensive government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. Show up at a hospital and you will be cared for.

But the best medical care in the world cannot make up for a life that results in comorbidity caused by any number of lifestyle diseases. A virus does take advantage of those kind of opportunities when it finally infects someone and takes hold.  I’m not blaming the victim, but I’m also not ready to blame the system for their misfortune either.

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