A new poll shows that Black people are leading white Americans by 10 percentage points when asked if they have been vaccinated. The NBC News poll shows that 76 percent of Black folks said they have received a vaccine. Sixty-six percent of whites answered in the affirmative.
An equally interesting line in the survey shows that 91 percent of 2020 Biden voters have been vaccinated versus just 50 percent of Trump voters. Yikes!
While it is true that Black Americans have lagged behind whites regarding vaccinations, much of it had as much to do with access early on as it did with historical anxiety with the medical system—fears that experts have been working tirelessly to counter with facts about the safety of vaccines. So it appears that continued outreach and education has shifted the trend of vaccination in Black communities for the better.
This news certainly runs in stark contradiction to Republicans’ claims that Black people are refusing to get the jabs in their arms. As The Root previously reported, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blamed Black people for the surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“The biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated,” he said during a Fox News appearance. “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—just as it’s up to the Republicans—to try to get as many people vaccinated.”
Of course, his claims were all lies and we outlined why they were. As always, our own Michael Harriot breaks down the foolishness:
Let’s be clear. The second-in-command of the country’s second-most populous state didn’t misspeak. Since African Americans are 12.9 percent of the state’s population and 7.9 percent of vaccinations, Patrick knows Black Texans are more vaccinated than white Texans. Nationwide, Black Americans have been getting vaccinated at higher rates than whites and may soon surpass non-Hispanic whites in the percentage of vaccinated, according to CDC data and KFF. Plus, Patrick knows that there are three times more white people in Texas than Black people. He knows that there are five times more white people in America than Black people. So he knows “the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated” is not true.
He was lying. He knows what “biggest” means. Patrick knows how numbers work. But it’s hard to prove he was lying about the “Democrat” statement. Aside from polling, there really isn’t much data because no one has compared COVID cases, deaths or even vaccination rates to political parties. We looked, but we couldn’t find very specific data.
So we did it ourselves.
Instead of comparing apples to oranges, we used the CDC’s data to compare each state’s per capita rates of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths as of August 18, 2020. We also included the political party of each state’s governor, along with the state’s popular vote total in the 2020 presidential election to analyze the political effect on each state’s COVID status.
Given their aversion to masks, vaccines and facts, it may be safe to assume that COVID-19 is worse in Republican-led states. But we wanted to see if states that voted for Trump were experiencing the pandemic differently than states who voted for Joe Biden. Have efforts to ban mask mandates, open schools and spread disinformation by Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott affected vaccine rates and COVID cases?
What we found was staggering.
Red states are failing at protecting their citizens from the coronavirus in every measurable outcome. The COVID-19 pandemic hospitalizes and kills residents of MAGA states at twice the rate of states that voted for Joe Biden. Even worse, people who live in states with Republican governors are experiencing a pandemic that is one-and-a-half times worse than states with Democratic governors. Fewer citizens of GOP-led states have been vaccinated, more people catch the virus, more people are hospitalized and more people die.
So, as Republicans have shown since forever, when the truth hits them in the face, they swing back with a lie. And another lie and another lie. That is how they are built.
But the data always prevails.