by WorldTribune Staff, April 5, 2020
For the “vast majority of working-class Americans,” the coronavirus outbreak has exposed the United States as a “brutal, barbarian society,” socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.
The New York Democrat also claimed that communities of color are being “disproportionately” affected by the virus and called for “reparations” in the next coronavirus relief package.
In an April 4 social media post discussing policies she wishes Congress would adopt to combat the coronavirus, including canceling rent payments and reforming healthcare, Ocaso-Cortez said “Healthcare is a human right. You shouldn’t get better healthcare because you have a higher position in work. Everyone should be able to have dignified access to healthcare.”
She added: “This is supposed to be the richest society in the world. And I think what this crisis is showing us is that this is only a rich society for a very small amount of people. And it is a brutal, barbarian society for the vast majority of working-class Americans.”
According to the New York Department of Health, over 113,000 New York residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ocasio-Cortez’s state, representing a large percentage of all cases in the U.S.
In an April 3 tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “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.”
There has been little fact-checking on AOC’s claim.
Ibram X. Kendi, a “Director of Antiracist Research” at American University, noted in a recent article in The Atlantic that the data which would prove Ocasio-Cortez’s claim doesn’t exist.
“I suspect that some Americans believe that racial data will worsen racism. But without racial data, we can’t see whether there are disparities between the races in coronavirus testing, infection, and death rates,” Kendi said.
“No conservative, centrist, or progressive can say for sure whether race or class or even their intersection is the salient divider during the pandemic,” Kendi added. “We have data on neither the class nor the race of victims, let alone the intersectional data that would allow us to assess, say, whether poor Asian women are dying at higher or lower rates than poor white women; or whether white elites and Latino elites are being infected at similar or dissimilar rates. We just don’t know.”