WASHINGTON, D.C. – One hundred days ago this weekend, President Trump used his now infamous racist epithet, referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” during a press conference. In recent days, the administration has doubled down on its racist rhetoric and xenophobic policies: Trump called the virus the “kung flu” at rallies last week following insensitive, dubious comments his fellow administration officials have made about Black and Brown communities with regard to the virus — even as communities of color continue to feel the disproportionate impact of the administration’s failed pandemic response.

“The Trump administration failed to keep Americans safe during this crisis — and instead of supporting marginalized communities’ health and economic security, Trump has mobilized racist rhetoric in an attempt to pass the buck on the administration’s failures to some of those most vulnerable,” said Jenna Kruse, spokesperson for Accountable.US.

This all comes as the administration has failed to properly address the systemic inequality endemic to our health care and economic systems. The administration’s failure to make COVID-19 tests widely accessible is widely documented, but recent reports have shown that the starkest disparities in testing access have fallen along racial lines. New data from the administration revealed that among Medicare patients, Black people were four times more likely to be hospitalized from the virus as white people, and Latino and Asian Americans were twice as likely.

Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has also woefully abdicated its duty to uplift minority-owned small businesses in favor of cutting checks to large corporations. One recent report shows that Black- and Asian-owned small businesses have taken disproportionate hits during the pandemic. While cash balances for small businesses were down by 12.7 percent overall in early April, they dropped by 26 percent for Black-owned businesses and by 22 percent for Asian-owned businesses. Despite this disparate effect, 90% of businesses owned by people of color will not be able to access PPP funding, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. Trump’s comments only further harm a community already disproportionately struggling economically during the pandemic.

100 DAYS AGO SATURDAY: March 19, 2020

  • Trump called the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus” during a press conference — his second time doing so in two days.

###