President Joe Biden floated a new theory about why he believes Latinos are not receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the same rate as whites.
“It’s awful hard to get Latinx vaccinated as well,” Biden said at a Raleigh, North Carolina, community center. “Why? They’re worried that they’ll be vaccinated and deported.”
Biden provided no evidence to support his claim. Statistics indicate 38% of Latinos have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, compared to 46% of whites and 33% of African-Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Additionally, only 3% of Latinos use the term “Latinx” to describe themselves, a 2019 Pew survey found. Less than 0.5% of Latinos over the age of 65 used the term to describe themselves, and only 23% were familiar with the term. Pew surveyed 3,030 Latinos in December 2019, with a margin of error of 2.9%.
Biden also claimed that “it’s been harder to get African-Americans, initially, to get vaccinated, because it used to be that they experimented on them — the Tuskegee Airmen, and others.”
That comment was an apparent reference to the Tuskegee Experiment when doctors followed black men who suffered from syphilis in order to observe the progression of the disease. The study is now considered highly unethical since the men could have been treated with penicillin.
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American fighter pilots who served in World War II. They have no connection with the Tuskegee Experiment. (RELATED: Oldest Living Member Of The Famous Tuskegee Airmen Squadron Dies At 101)
Media figures including “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin and NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have also cited the Tuskegee Experiment as an explanation for vaccine hesitancy in the African American community.