This is what he said
Unfortunately the American population is a very diverse — it is a population with significant unhealthy co-morbidities that do make many individuals in our communities, in particular African-American, minority communities, particularly at risk here because of significant underlying disease health disparities and disease co-morbidities and that is an unfortunate legacy in our health care system that we need to address.
This is Salon’s interpretation
Here’s the shorter version of the secretary’s analysis: “Dear black and brown people: COVID-19 is killing so many of you because you are fat and lazy. Deal with the problem yourselves. This is your own fault.”
Now I know that when Azar says that they need to address this unfortunately disparity, he’s saying what we want to hear. They obviously have no intention to do so.
However, if anyone outside the Trump regime said these exact words, I would assume they were genuinely discussing the legitimate systemic disparities in a healthcare system that rewards wealth, which is something that a majority of minorities in America have been historically denied access to. Most of us off all skin colors have been denied access, but minorities at a much higher rate than non minorities because of the historical mistreatment of minority populations.
That being said, I can’t get on the fuck Trump train with Salon in this particular case. It’s not fair of me to take words that can reasonably be interpreted as an acceptable statement and instead attribute them to malice simply because of who said them, and I don’t think it’s fair of Salon either. I understand that it’s not the magazine’s job to print intellectually honest arguments for an educated crowd, but I think we can do better than this as curators of the sub Reddit we’re reading.