At this point, it appears that the Trump administration has decided that they’re fine with 3,000 people dying per day from COVID-19, which is FEMA’s projection for America’s future if we continue opening non-essential businesses and relaxing other restrictions too early. Many public health experts have slammed this decision, but none perhaps so hard as Yale epidemiologist for infectious disease Gregg Gonsalves, who has derided this policy as one that is “getting awfully close to genocide by default.”

Gonsalves also brings up the fact that a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 deaths have been among ” African-Americans, Latinos, [and] other people of color.” According to Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S., of John Hopkin’s Medicine, black individuals account for about half of all coronavirus cases in Chicago and nearly 75 percent of deaths while making up only one-third of the city’s population. It’s the same in other cities.

“Likewise, in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, African Americans make up 70% of deaths due to the coronavirus, but just 26% of the county’s population,” Golden says.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation has the third-highest infection rate per capita among all regions of the U.S. while being underserved by the U.S. government and the CARES Act.

Forcing people to return to work by re-opening non-essential businesses and denying them unemployment insurance if they refuse will also have more of an impact on people of color as they make up a disproportionate number of service industry and retail workers.

With all this in mind, Gonsalves doubled down on his tweet, asking about how international law might apply to the U.S. in this situation.

As unlikely as that seems, there’s no shortage of people who agree with Gonsalves on his suggestion that the Trump administration is approaching a kind of genocide.

Someone please save us from ourselves.

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*First Published: May 6, 2020, 1:09 pm