By Nikki Schwab
Senior U.S. Political Reporter for Dailymail.com
President Trump and the doctors on his coronavirus taskforce expressed concerns Tuesday that the African American population was being hit disproportionately by the pandemic.
‘This is a real problem and it’s showing up very strongly in our data on the African-American community and we’re doing everything in our power to address this challenge,’ Trump said during the daily task force briefing. ‘It’s a tremendous, it’s terrible.’
Dr. Tony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx both explained that black Americans aren’t contracting the virus at a higher percentage.
It’s that the population has higher rates of underlying health conditions like diabetes, hypertention, asthma, and obesity – which make fighting COVID-19 more difficult.
‘Health disparities have always existed for the African-American community but here again with the crisis how it’s shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is – because yet again, when you have a situation like the coronavirus they are suffering disproportionately,’ Fauci said from behind the podium.
Fauci said there wasn’t a lot of medical professionals could do about the disparity amid the coronavirus outbreak, except for to ensure black patients get good care.
‘It’s very sad,’ Fauci said. ‘It’s nothing we can do about it now instead of trying to give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.’
While Trump said he’d present better numbers publicly over the next ‘two or three days.’
‘I hadn’t heard this – and then over the last few days this has come up more and more – I don’t mean a little bit I mean by many times it’s a real thing,’ Trump said, previewing the disparity.
‘But why is it that the African American community is so much – is numerous times more? And we want to find the reason for it. We’re trying to find out why it is that it’s three and four times more so for the black community as opposed to other people,’ the president continued.
‘And I don’t like it,’ Trump added.
For Fauci it recalled the early instances of HIV infections, which led to AIDS, showing up in the gay community.
‘And as some of you know, the greater proportion of my professional career has been defined by HIV-AIDS,’ he said.
‘And if you go back then, during that period of time when there was extraordinary stigma particularly against the gay community and it was only when the world realized how the gay community responded to this outbreak with incredible courage and dignity and strength and activism, I think that really changed some of the stigmas against the gay community, very much so,’ he added.
Fauci added that once the pandemic is over the disparities that impacted minority communities would need to be addressed.