Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has demanded minority-focused “reparations” for coronavirus, insisting “inequality is a comorbidity” exacerbating the deaths – after calling for shutdowns that impoverished millions.
The New York Democrat called for coronavirus relief to be “drafted with a lens of reparations,” insisting that deaths from the virus were “disproportionately spiking in Black [and] Brown communities” in a tweet on Friday.
Blaming “the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap,” she smoothly conflated economic inequality – a problem in white and nonwhite communities alike – with racism.
COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities.Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions.Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 3, 2020
However, economic inequality has gone stratospheric in the last few weeks as relief packages shoved through Congress paid out trillions of dollars to financial institutions and large corporations.
Those same packages, which AOC voted for despite token opposition, promised individuals a paltry $1,200 check at some future date, and even the $350 billion earmarked for small businesses has proven distressingly difficult to obtain in the few hours since some lenders began taking applications on Friday.
The Democratic Party has been mostly united in calling for a total shutdown of the country in the name of slowing the spread of coronavirus. The result has been mass unemployment and a gigantic spike in poverty – not just among “black and brown communities,” but across the country.
While some areas have softened the blow by pausing evictions and postponing mortgage and rent payments, rent and mortgage amnesty has not been forthcoming. Americans will owe several months’ worth of payments whenever the moratorium is over. In a country where two thirds of the population doesn’t have $600 to cover an emergency expense and a fifth of citizens live paycheck to paycheck, the “wealth gap” doesn’t discriminate by skin color.
Urban areas, which typically have a higher concentration of racial minorities than suburbia or rural regions, have been hit especially hard by the virus, due to high population density. For the same reason, they’ve been devastated economically, with high infection rates used to justify citywide lockdowns.
The virus is currently hitting densely populated cities which have disproportionately high minority residents Vs. Rural areas. This is why infection rate may be higher. It’s the choice to live in densely populated cities. Rural areas are cheaper to live in. This isn’t racism.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 3, 2020
More likely it’s because they live in urban areas and take mass transit.
— commonsense (@commonsense258) April 3, 2020
Low-income neighborhoods in AOC’s home New York City have indeed been especially devastated – according to a map released by the city’s Department of Health on Wednesday. However, racial data for coronavirus has not yet been published, a detail that has already outraged AOC’s fellow legislators, who demanded a racial breakdown of epidemic deaths in a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar earlier this week.
The Democratic Socialist’s critics pounced, cracking jokes about “cognitive distancing.”
Some suggested alternative “comorbidities” like Democratic governance and obesity.
Wait, you mean Democrat-controlled communities aren’t receiving great care?I’m shockedBut go ahead and blame racism instead of your failing partyGood distraction…
— Rogan O’Handley 🇺🇸 (@DC_Draino) April 3, 2020
COVID deaths are disproportionately killing men. Does that mean it’s sexist? Do we deserve ‘reparations’? #WuhanVirus
— Greg F. Liberty or Death #AlitaArmy 🚻only (@straytski) April 3, 2020
Though a few on the right seemed to agree with the ‘reparations’ idea…as long as it was China cutting the checks.
@RepAOC@AOC the only lens of reparations for #CoronaVIrus is CHINA! Period. End of Discussion.You’ve never picked cotton, & my family never owned slaves!Name one black that has a relative who was a slave. I bet you can’t find one. https://t.co/X1M9ysdwo1
— William Bighouse (@WilliamBighouse) April 3, 2020
Is the money for the reparations coming from China?
— Dan IFBP Edmonds Text Trump To 88022 (@DanWantsFreedom) April 3, 2020
Others suggested minority communities themselves were to blame.
Not everyone seemed to think the idea of reparations was ridiculous, however.
I’ve also noticed that stores that mostly serve white customers are enforcing social distancing more than those in some black and brown communities. I have no idea why, it was just something I noticed while driving past grocery stores in different areas.
— Alexandra MacArthur (@alexgoesthere) April 3, 2020
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