Fox News host Tucker Carlson told viewers Monday that media personalities like CNN’s Don Lemon are equating the coronavirus with racism, leaving us “paranoid and divided.” The Daily Caller co-founder’s guest, journalist Zaid Jilani, seemed to agree.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong about being worried about inequality … the problem is they’re taking one variable and using it to define the entire problem,” Jilani said.
Jilani noted that “the death rate for the coronavirus is twice as high for men than it is for women but we’re not describing it as a male virus. We know that nursing homes account for over half the deaths in many states in America but we’re not describing it as the nursing home pandemic because this pandemic is hitting everybody.” (RELATED: ‘This Is Insanity’: Tucker Carlson Questions The ‘Science’ Behind The Shutdown)
He said it was important not to focus on one group suffering more than others from the COVID-19 virus and that “seven out of 10 Americans [who] have died are outside the African-American community.”
“We need to be focusing our social concern and compassion and our public policy on everybody,” he continued, “whether it’s a meat packer in Nebraska who’s undocumented and doesn’t have access to government services or whether it’s a young African-American person in the hospital or a young white person.”
Jilani said the disease doesn’t choose its victims based on skin color and that “cherry picking statistics to kind of focus social concern only on one group risks dividing us at a time when we need to be united.” (RELATED: REPORT: More Than 14,000 People Willing To Contrat the Coronavirus To Test Vaccines)
“I agree so completely,” Carlson interjected. “[Social analysts] say they care about inequality but the real inequality is economic and it’s wrecking the country in my opinion and they never want to talk about that,” he said, suggesting that race is far too large a factor in assessing equality.
Jilani also mocked Lemon for suggesting that he could identify with all black Americans.
“Don Lemon said ‘we.’ What we? Don Lemon is a young, healthy, wealthy rich and famous person: he’s not a meat packer worker from El Salvador who’s working in crowded conditions, living in a shack somewhere in Nebraska. He just shares a skin color with other people who happen to have been infected and have died — and so do you and I,” he said.
The journalist accused Lemon of misusing the data.
“We need to be looking at the causal variables which are the things that actually put you at risk,” Jilani said. “We know for instance, that whites have two or three times the suicide rate as other groups but that doesn’t mean we describe suicide as a white issue We need to describe all issues as multiracial.”
President Donald Trump has recognized that coronavirus is affecting the black community to a greater degree than other groups in American society. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed that health officials only started linking personal behavior and habits to contracting coronavirus when it started affecting minority groups more than the elderly.