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Tillis Blames “Hispanic Population” for North Carolina’s Coronavirus Spread


July 16, 2020

Tillis Blames “Hispanic Population” for North Carolina’s Coronavirus Spread

Report Shows Hispanic and Latino North Carolinians Less Likely to Have Work-From-Home Option, Access to Health Care

Raleigh, N.C. - In a virtual town hall on Tuesday, Senator Thom Tillis blamed North Carolina’s “Hispanic population” for a rise in coronavirus cases in the state, falsely claiming that Hispanic and Latino North Carolinians are less likely to practice mask wearing and social distancing. In fact, Hispanic respondents were more likely to report regularly wearing masks than white respondents, according to a Pew Research study conducted in June. Centers for Disease Control data released in May also showed high adherence to masking recommendations amongst Hispanic and Latino adults.

According to a Piedmont Rising report on racial disparities and coronavirus released in May, Hispanic and Latino North Carolinians are far more likely to be considered “essential workers” and only about half as likely to be able to work from home as non-Hispanic workers. Further, roughly 30 percent of Hispanics in North Carolina do not have health insurance, higher than any other group in the state.

“Hispanic North Carolinians are less likely to have access to health care and more likely to be forced to work in a dangerous environment where they could be exposed to coronavirus,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “Instead of blaming North Carolinians who are the victims of racial disparities in health care and the economy, Tillis should be working to expand access to health care and keep workers safe on the job. But instead, he's looking to give corporations immunity and absolve them of any responsibility to protect their workers and their community. Tillis’s comments are disgraceful, and he should apologize immediately.”


About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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