Thursday, July 30, 2020

"It Cost Me Everything": In Texas, COVID-19 Takes a Devastating Toll on Hispanic Residents by Perla Trevizo

The stories are terribly sad. Our family has been impacted; no one has died, thankfully, but it seems to get closer every day.  According to this piece by Perla Trevizo with ProPublica, many factors are responsible including "Nearly a third of adults under 65 in Texas lack health insurance, the worst uninsured rate in the country, and more than 60% of those without health insurance in the state are Hispanic."  

Moreover, "Hispanic Texans make up about 40% of the state’s population but 48% of the state’s 6,190 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, according to Department of State Health Services data." In addition to all of this, and as we're seeing here in Austin, Texas, we neither have much of a public health infrastructure. I hope that when all of this is said and done, that we will have one that additionally consists of all residents being insured. 

We should be learning from this virus that even if it is disproportionately impacting one community, it doesn't limit itself to one particular population but that it exploits the weakest link and there are many weak links as a consequence of poor leadership and misguided policies like opening up our state too early. 

To aspire for "herd immunity," as U.S. Representative Chip Roy has done, equates to neo-Darwinist, "survival of the fittest" thinking, a convenient, self-serving ideology that's willing to sacrifice others, particularly people of color, to keep what's left of capitalism going, however hurtful or anti-democratic.

-Angela Valenzuela

Not only are Hispanics catching coronavirus at higher rates in Texas’ largest county, they also suffer some of the worst outcomes.

(Brandon Thibodeaux for The Texas Tribune/ProPublica/NBC News)

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up for The Brief weekly to get up to speed on their essential coverage of Texas issues. It was also produced in partnership with NBC News.


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