Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves took to Twitter early on Wednesday morning to draw a comparison between Donald Trump‘s plan to reopen the American economy amid the coronavirus pandemic and the genocide of people of color, Breitbart reported.
“How many people will die this summer, before Election Day?” Gonsalves tweeted.
“What proportion of the deaths will be among African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color? This is getting awfully close to genocide by default. What else do you call mass death by public policy?”
As noted by Breitbart, Gonsalves’ attack on Trump was amplified by China’s state-run communist publication, the People’s Daily. He also allegedly faced criticism from people on the right of the political spectrum, which he called the “right-wing mob-machine.”
“Getting threatening emails again,” he tweeted two hours after his initial post. “Guess I should get with the program and say what a wonderful job the White House is doing on #COVID19, #coronavirus. Nope. Not a chance.”
A recent national study by an AIDS research group found that black counties account for a significant number of coronavirus cases and deaths. In particular, counties with a disproportionate number of black Americans account for over half of coronavirus cases, and almost 60 percent of deaths, The Washington Post reported.
According to Gregorio Millett, vice president of AmfAR, the Foundation for Aids Research, all of his colleagues worry that reopening the U.S. economy will have a disproportionate effect on the many diverse communities in the country. Millet also claims that research is underway to examine the impact of loosening social distancing and sheltering requirements on disproportionately black counties in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.
Trump shifts to new "warrior"/cannon fodder messaging. Americans are "warriors", must "open up" regardless; "Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country opened." pic.twitter.com/9IOzxcWo28
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 5, 2020
As of Thursday afternoon, there are 1.26 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 74,665 deaths. The White House also recently shared a new COVID-19 model from the University of Washington that predicted that 134,000 Americans could die from the virus by August, CNN reported. Despite the threat of the pandemic, Trump suggested Americans are ready to return to a regular routine.
“I think they’re starting to feel good now,” he said. “The country’s opening again. We saved millions of lives, I think.”
A recent Washington Post/University of Maryland national poll suggested that many Americans are still hesitant about moving toward a normal routine. According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents are comfortable going to the grocery store, but 67 percent would be uncomfortable visiting a retail store.
In addition, 78 percent of those polled would not be comfortable visiting a sit-down restaurant.