Cooper’s Health Secretary Blames Racism for COVID-19 Impact on Minorities

RALEIGH – Connecting a virus to systemic racism will become one of the more artful examples of the Left’s constant pursuit of deeming things racist, but NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen has done it. Cohen told reporters that health disparities in general, and the outsized impact of COVID-19 on black and hispanic populations, is due to structural racism.

Cohen told the News & Observer, “Health disparities in our country are historic and persistent, and when we have a crisis like this, I think it shines a light on health disparities that, frankly, I’ve been working on for 3 1/2 years.

The answer is usually, according to the Left’s playbook, to expand the government redistribution and control programs. Here again, a familiar suggestion: Medicaid expansion.

The entire premise is teed up and gift-wrapped by a sympathetic media in order to exploit the health crisis to further a social justice agenda.

From the Durham Herald-Sun:

“[…] Like many other states that are reporting the racial demographics of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, North Carolina is seeing a disparately high impact on the state’s black residents. As of Friday afternoon, 1,086 black people had tested positive for COVID-19.

That’s 39% of the 2,781 cases where the race of the patient was known. North Carolina’s population is 22% black.

That gap is wide enough that in the unlikely event that every single one of the 1,087 patients whose race was not recorded were white, black patients would still make up a disparately high portion of the state’s cases. […]”

The coronavirus has hit black and hispanic communities harder, proportionally, than other groups. There are any number of factors that would shape this result, not least of which is the basic tendency of a virus to exploit higher density urban centers, where blacks and hispanics represent higher percentages of the population.

While the North Carolina population is 22 percent black, that number is 35 percent in Charlotte where the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases are, plus 15 deaths. There have been 10 deaths in Greensboro where 40+ percent of the population is black. This could speak to the over-representation in the numbers compared to statewide averages, but you know the Left wouldn’t let such a common sense explanation ruin an opportunity to push social justice. The Left ignores the myriad factors like the one above and blames racism.

They even go straight to their authority, Rev. William Barber, to make it official.

“[…] The high number of deaths and illness among black North Carolinians was not unexpected. For one thing, they’re a result of long-term deficits in education, health care and opportunities that often force black residents to take on the manual jobs that are still deemed “essential” at a time that much of the population is able to stay home.

And that amounts to racism, said the Rev. William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and a past president of the North Carolina NAACP.

“It’s not the germ, it’s not the virus and it’s not merely race. Because to say it’s just race is to say that people’s biology has a certain predisposition to the disease,” Barber said.

Instead, he said, it’s “the existing disparities prior to the pandemic that are further exposed and exploited by the germ once the pandemic hits.” […]”

The only explanation, according to Barber, is that the pandemic is magnifying racist and economic injustices that are already there. The purported solution is to adopt the radical Leftists’ social and economic justice agendas, starting with Medicaid expansion as baby step toward the Marxism they openly promote.

Notice, that Barber could only frame this in terms of race. This is systemic racial injustice exposed by the pandemic, he says, because the only alternative is just race? Race or racism. The assertion doesn’t make much sense considering different people have different biological predispositions to certain diseases all the time, but we digress.

Familiar foes identified: racism, racists, the greedy capitalists. Solution: Socialism

“[…] Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign have called on federal officials to help Blalock and other workers by providing paid sick leave for everyone, health care including free COVID-19 treatment for everyone and a “guaranteed and adequate” income for all front-line workers, including those in health care, at grocery stores and behind fast food counters. […]”

“Free” healthcare; mandatory paid sick leave; and a guaranteed income. A progressively more socialist system. These are the ends for which the Left is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis. Mandating shutdowns, decrying the economic fallout, and then using socialist government to ‘fix it.’

If you’ve felt out of sorts of late that’d be understandable — there IS a history-changing pandemic going on — but at least we can find some comfort in the familiarity of the Left exploit a crisis to advance their dangerous agenda. They lay it on thick in this feature in the woke Herald-Sun with Secretary Cohen reinforcing the dogma from the Cooper administration.

Have a hot tip for First In Freedom Daily?

Got a hot news tip for us? Photos or video of a breaking story? Send your tips, photos and videos to All hot tips are immediately forwarded to FIFD Staff.

Have something to say? Send your own guest column or original reporting to