Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick doubled down on his false statements that Black residents of his state were responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Patrick made his initial remarks during a Fox News broadcast Thursday with Laura Ingraham. “The biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated,” he said. “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.”
Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said Patrick’s statements “are offensive and should not be ignored” and former HUD Secretary and 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro called them “reprehensible.”
Patrick released a statement on Twitter the next day in an attempt to clarify his comments, but he ended up just doubling down, saying, wrongly, that “Federal and State data clearly indicate that Black vaccination rates are significantly lower than White or Hispanic rates.”
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As The Guardian explains, the data doesn’t support that claim:
Black Texans, about 12% of more than 29 million people in the state, have accounted for about 15% of total Covid-19 cases and just more than 10% of deaths.
About 8% of the eligible population in Texas that has been vaccinated is Black, according to state data, compared with 35% of the white population. But white people make up the largest racial group in Texas at about 40%. Overall, 44% of Texans are fully vaccinated, less than the national rate of about 50%.
The seven-day rolling average of daily Covid deaths in Texas rose from 50.29 a day on 4 August to 115.14 a day on 18 August, according to Johns Hopkins University. Covid-19 is blamed for more than 50,000 deaths in the state and more than 627,000 across the US.
The Texas Tribune also notes that vaccine hesitancy is higher among Republicans than with Black residents. In a recent poll conducted by the newspaper, thirty-eight percent of Republicans said they would not get the vaccine versus 18 percent of Blacks. CNN also detailed all of the falsehoods in Patrick’s statements.
Basically, Patrick lied and doesn’t care that he lied.