Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is taking a lot of heat after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study showing African Americans are suffering gravely from the coronavirus pandemic.
The study, released Wednesday, showed African Americans make up a majority of the 297 coronavirus patients reported in the study. Additionally, although African Americans weren’t more likely than any other group to die from the disease or to require a ventilator, according to the study, 83.2% of the patients with coronavirus were African American.
“A lot of it may come from the fact that African Americans are essential employees in our system,” he said. “Everything from bus drivers to healthcare workers and cleaning services, they are on the front line, and therefore are far more likely to be exposed.”
The statistics of the study line up with national statistics showing African Americans are dying from the coronavirus at disproportionate rates in states across the country. According to New York Magazine, African Americans in Georgia make up 52% of the coronavirus-related deaths, but only 33% of the population.
Despite the statistics, Kemp has reopened businesses saying the economy needs to be restarted. Kemp has not addressed how he’s going to address the disproportionate effect the coronavirus is having on African Americans.
Now, many are speaking out on social media.
Kemp allowed bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, and nail salons to reopen for in-person business last Friday. By Monday, restaurants were allowed to begin dine-in service.
However, some are choosing to keep their stores closed.
Rapper Killer Mike, who owns a chain of barbershops in Atlanta, said he will keep his stores closed.
“At this time as a business, we aren’t comfortable opening. So we’re going to wait a while before we reopen.” Mike explained that the coronavirus has been hitting the African American community hard and they are the group that his business caters to. “We don’t want our customers and our barbers in danger.”