S.C. Senator Says Getting COVID-19 Information To African Americans Will ‘Save Lives’

Rachel Martin,

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), seen at the U.S. Capitol last month, where he spoke about a stimulus bill intended to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus.

In many parts of the U.S., African Americans are dying of COVID-19 at significantly higher rates than the general population.

In South Carolina, African Americans make up 27% of the population, but make up 56% of deaths stemming from infection by the coronavirus, according to data released on Tuesday by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

In an interview Wednesday with NPR’s Morning Edition, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) stressed the importance of federal government outreach to African Americans about preventive measures like wearing face coverings and hand-washing.

“It’s important for us to have a specific and unique campaign to communicate the importance of following the protocols within the African-American community,” the senator said, noting that the Trump administration held a call with leading African American pastors around the country last Friday.

Scott cited Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, in saying that African Americans are not predisposed to the COVID-19, but rather have a higher incidence of underlying medical conditions — he mentioned high blood pressure and asthma — which can lead to compromised immune systems.

“So we have to make sure that we are vigilant in providing information into the community because it will save lives,” Scott said.

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