Republican Senator Blames Latino Community For Disproportionate COVID Case Numbers
Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina is facing pushback after claiming that Latinos don’t follow health guidelines as well as everyone else. According to Sen. Tillis’s non-scientific statement, the Republican politician claims that this is why Latinos have higher Covid-19 rates.
Republican Senator Thom Tillis claims that the Latino community is to blame for the staggering infection rate.
During a virtual town hall, Sen. Tillis claimed that Latinos are not adhering to social distancing and mask guidelines as much as the rest of the population. The announcement faced immediate backlash because studies prove that his statements are false.
According to the Pew Research Center, the Latino community is more likely to adhere to mask mandates than African-Americans and white people. Seventy-four percent of Latinos who were surveyed said they were a mask all of the time or most of the time when in a business or store with 13 percent saying they wore masks some times. Asian-Americans have the highest rate of mask-wearing with 80 percent saying they wore them all or most of the time when in a business or store. White people were last with 62 percent of them wearing masks all of most of the time in a business or store.
Some people are not letting the comment pass without a strong rebuke.
Rep. Veronica Escobar represents Texas’s 16th congressional district, which includes El Paso. Rep. Escobar was there for the community when Patrick Crusius drove to the Walmart and killed 23 people. The El Paso shooting highlighted the racism building against the Latino community with President Donald Trump’s words being echoed in his manifesto.
“Just wear the mask out of respect,” Sen. Tillis said during the town hall. “Now I will tell you I’m not a scientist and I’m not a statistician, but one of the concerns that we’ve had more recently is that the Hispanic population now constitutes about 44 percent of the positive cases, and we do have some concerns that in the Hispanic population we’ve seen less consistent adherence to social distancing and wearing a mask.”
Sen. Tillis, in his statement, overlooked the prevalence of Latinos in essential jobs.
Latino workers are among the least likely population to have jobs that they can work from home. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Latinos have had to work to provide essential services to people like grocery store employees. These people are not able to stay home and stay safe, which is why the community is at an increased risk of Covid-19 infection.
Sen. Tillis is currently in a very visible reelection and his opponent leads in the polls.
Sen. Tillis is facing a challenger in Democrat Cal Cunningham. A recent CNBC poll has Cunningham leading Sen. Tillis by ten points, 51-41. This race is one that people are watching closely to see if the Republican Party can keep their control over the Senate.
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