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HHS Sec: COVID-19 is Worse in US Because Americans Are Unhealthy

HHS Sec: COVID-19 is Worse in US Because Americans Are Unhealthy

The United States has, by far, the largest number of deaths attributed to COVID-19. Of course, the country features a gigantic population. Still, when compared to other nations, America lags behind.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At one point, Donald Trump had claimed that the US and Germany had the two best death rates, but that was shown to be clearly false. During a Sunday CNN appearance, HHS Chief Alex Azar claimed that the US death rate was higher due to the poor health of American citizens.

Host Jake Tapper chided Azar for celebrating the COVID-19 death numbers. The HHS Head replied, “Oh, Jake, you can’t celebrate a single death. Every death is a tragedy but the results could have been vastly, vastly worse. It’s also important to remember, Jake.”

The CNN anchor countered, “But it’s worse for us than it is for anyone else.”

Azar then ranted:

“That’s actually not factually correct when you look at mortality rates as a percent of diagnosed cases. Every death is tragic, but we have maintained our health care burden within the capacity of our system to actually deal with it. 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.”

After a back and forth, Tapper asked, “Of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fault of the American people when the administration didn’t take adequate steps in February.”

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Azar shot back, “Please don’t distort, Jake, this is about simple epidemiology and stating that if we have hypertension, if we have diabetes, we present with greater risk of severe complications from this coronavirus. that’s all I was saying, and you know that.”

Watch a video of the exchange below:


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