US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Friday to shed light on how coronavirus impacts the communities of people of colour differently than white communities, and wound up in a heated exchange with Fox News host Laura Ingraham as a result.
“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,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.”
Ms Ingraham, host of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, disagreed with the suggestion that black and brown communities receive special consideration from the government and responded by bringing up the Congresswoman’s previous job in bartending.
“The Doctor of Mixology will save us!” Ms Ingraham wrote.
Ms Ingraham did not offer further rebuttal to Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s data or claims. However, Ms Ocasio-Cortez suggested that Ms Ingraham was peddling misinformation and suggested she shouldn’t have a television show.
“Didn’t you just put a doctor on your show who faked their employment at Lenox Hill hospital and touted a COVID “treatment” that you tweeted & Twitter had to remove because a man may have died trying to self-administer it?” Ms Ocasio-Cortez asked, sharing a news story about Ingraham’s deleted information. “I’m sorry, why are you on TV again?”
The television show host once again condescended to the Congresswoman, suggesting she didn’t know the difference between “admitting privileges” and being “employed by” as a result of her being “a liberal.”
Ms Ingraham — who has been described in the past as an “ardent nationalist” — was not alone in criticising Ms Ocasio-Cortez for discussing how races are differently impacted by the coronavirus.
“I deal w/ a lot of violent threats, vitriol, etc. But I never get more hate aimed at me than when I address racial inequalities,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “If some people think racial disparities are as much a myth as other issues I discuss, then why do they get so much more violent & angry on this topic?”
Later, Ms Ocasio-Cortez shared data coming from Michigan that substantiated her argument that communities of colour are disproportionately affected by the virus.
The data suggested that both the rates of infection and death were highest in black and brown communities, representing 35 per cent of overall infections and 40 per cent of overall deaths.
“This pandemic is happening in CONTEXT,” she wrote. “A lot of folks who deny racism have no idea what it really is.”