Joe Biden made the most racially condescending statement of his presidency at CNN’s town hall on Tuesday.
The president was asked about racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccine treatment and he directly implied that many minorities “don’t know how to use, don’t know how to get online.”
This is what Biden said per CNN’s own transcript:
“Not everybody in the community, in the Hispanic and the African-American community, particularly in rural areas that are distant and/or inner city districts know how to use — know how to get online to determine how to get in line for that COVID vaccination at the Walgreen’s or at the particular store.”
The remark is eliciting blowback on social media due to its liberal ‘soft bigotry of low expectations‘ tone. This is the initial question that prompted the president’s response:
“QUESTION: God bless you. Mr. President, hello. My name is Dr. Dessie Levy… And my question to you is considering COVID 19 and its significant impact on black Americans, especially here in Milwaukee and thus, the exacerbation of our racial disparities in health care, we have seen less than three percent of blacks and less than five percent of Hispanics given the total number of vaccines that have been administered to this point.
Is this a priority for the Biden administration? And how will the disparities be addressed? And that’s both locally and nationally.”
That there is a racial disparity in regards to vaccine distribution and treatment has been a running narrative for the Biden administration. On February 10th the administration announced the “Biden-Harris Administration COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.”
The New York Times reported that “Mr. Biden has repeatedly said racial equity will be at the core of his administration’s coronavirus response… White House officials announced a program to ship doses of vaccine directly to a network of federally funded clinics in underserved areas,” which would begin this week.
“Equity is our North Star here,” said Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale professor appointed to lead the Covid-19 equity task force. “This effort that focuses on allocation for community health centers really is about connecting with those hard-to-reach populations across the country.”
Biden gave his response immediately within the framework of race, and made a startling allusion to racist experiments in America’s past like the infamous 1932 Tuskeegee experiment, as if it were relevant to modern medical practices.
“Well, first of all, it is a priority, number one,” he answered. “Number two, there’s two reasons for it being the way it is. Number one, there is some history of blacks being used as guinea pigs in other experiments as I need not tell you, Doctor, over the last 50 to 75 to 100 years in America. So there is a concern about getting the vaccine whether it’s available or not,” he added.
It appears that Cooper tried to rescue Biden from his condescending assumption that elderly minorities are less able to find information online than Caucasian elderly people.
“Are you concerned about the rollout of this online? Because it has been incredibly confusing for a lot of people, not just you know, older people. It’s younger people just trying to find a place to get a vaccine,” he prompted.
It should be noted this is a practice that would never have happened under the Trump administration, where even statements condemning white supremacists are misremembered as Donald Trump’s “fine people” moment because they were weaponized into misleading narratives to vilify the president.
Biden’s self-effacing remark about his own elderly stage in life frankly did not work to reassure Americans.
“So it’s all about trying to more rationalize in detail so ordinary people like me can understand, I mean that sincerely,” Biden said. “I mean, my grandchildren can use that online, you know, make me look like I’m, you know, the seventh century, but all kidding aside. This is a process. And it’s going to take time.”
Joe Biden’s has an extensive history of racially divisive comments, as well as taking racist positions on issues like supporting segregation, which was pointed out numerous times in the mainstream media, particularly during the Democratic primaries.
“Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things,” Biden said in an interview.
“We should challenge students in these schools,” Biden on an another occasion said. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied to his black interviewer. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
The Biden administration’s paternalistic and condescending race-based approach to policies is inevitably going to lead to more high-profile misstatements from Mr. Biden. It may push the administration to further move his vice president Kamala Harris into the limelight in an effort to save Biden from himself.
As seen on Becker News. Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter.