Are Hispanics Victims of “Inequities” in COVID-19 Epidemic?

Jennifer Carroll Foy

by James A. Bacon

Hispanics make up 9% of Virginia’s population but 43% of the state’s COVID-19 cases. So, it seems a not-unreasonable thing for Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, a candidate for governor, to call upon Governor Ralph Northam to increase funding for outreach over Spanish-language media to build public awareness about the virus.

But then in her letter to the governor, she said some things that aren’t so reasonable: “The rates of infection are alarming, and magnify the inequities that are staring us in the face. They stem from longstanding and systemic factors, such as disparate access to information, testing, and treatment.”

Here we go again: “inequities,” “systemic” factors and “disparate” access. It is so widely assumed that Virginia is a hellhole of inequity and prejudice that no one even tries to prove statements like Foy’s. (She’s hardly alone in making them.) The allegations are accepted without question.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. The first thing to note is that the Hispanic population in Virginia has surged over the past two decades — from 239,000 in 2000 to 619,000 this year. Most of this increase was driven by immigration into the state. It is safe to assume that a large percentage come from poor countries in search of economic opportunity. With little education, most immigrants sought employment in occupations requiring manual skills. As a consequence, to quote Virginia Public Media, 85% of Latinos can’t work at home. They must leave their houses to go to work and get paid, which makes them more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.

After accepting thousands of poor, low-skilled Hispanic newcomers from other countries, providing them jobs, education, healthcare and other services over the past 20 years, Virginia suddenly is guilty of systemic inequities. Hispanic immigrants didn’t metamorphose from impoverished villagers overnight into prosperous middle-class Americans who can work safely at home on their computers, so we are stained by inequity!

How have we supposedly failed our Hispanic citizens and residents? Foy suggests that Latinos have inadequate access to testing. What evidence does she have that Latinos are any less likely to be tested than blacks, whites, or Asians? She presents none in the letter. But consider this: 43% of all Virginians found to carry the COVID-19 virus (whose race is known) are Hispanics. How do we come by this statistics? It’s because they were tested! Someone, somewhere, somehow, tested them.

If Latinos consistently tested positive for the virus at higher rates than other groups — say, that 20% of Hispanics tested positive, while for other groups only 10% tested positive — it might suggest that only the sickest Hispanic patients with the most visible symptoms were being tested, and that Hispanics generally were being under-tested. But the Virginia Department of Health doesn’t break out data on the number of tests administered by race/ethnicity, so we can’t tell. Perhaps VDH has that data, but it does not publish it on its COVID-19 dashboard. Of  one thing we can be reasonably certain, Foy has not crunched those numbers. If she had, she would have cited them. Basically, she’s just making stuff up.

Now, let’s talk about access to the health care system. Hispanics account for 35% of all hospitalizations in the state. Despite Virginia’s “systemic inequities,” somewhere, somehow, 2,277 Hispanic COVID-19 patients so far have managed to find hospitals to take care of them. One possible retort is that 35% of all hospitalizations is lower than 43% of all confirmed cases, therefore, some Latinos might have been denied access to hospitals. That discrepancy is easily explained: The Hispanic population skews younger that than of other racial/ethnic groups. Because they are younger on average, fewer experience symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization.

Well, surely Hispanics are getting second-class treatment when they wind up in the hospital. Not so. While accounting for 35% of all hospitalizations in Virginia, Hispanics account for only 11.4% of deaths. That suggests to me that the health care provided Latinos is pretty darn good, and that any insinuation otherwise is a slur and a slander on Virginia doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and other providers.

Bacon’s bottom line: There is no statistical evidence in the public domain that Virginia Hispanics are tested less for COVID-19, that Hispanics infected by the virus enjoy less access to hospitals, or that Hispanic patients receive inferior treatment in any way. Perhaps such evidence does exist. But Foy doesn’t cite it. It is reckless and irresponsible to spout off about “inequities,” “systemic” factors and “disparate” access without any supporting proof. Of course, she is hardly the only one to make such claims — I single her out only because her letter has been widely quoted in the media. But repeating an unsubstantiated claim over and over and over does not make it true.

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62 responses to “Are Hispanics Victims of “Inequities” in COVID-19 Epidemic?

  1. Saw where there was a large outbreak in an ICE detention center in Arizona where they are holding separated children.

    The Eloy Detention Center. Ironic name. But maybe not, since the Trump administration behaves like morlocks.

    • There is an outbreak in a private ICE center in Farmville, VA right now due to moving people from ICE centers in other states, including Arizona recently.

  2. Well, the data IS out there… perhaps she did not reference it specifically and yes, the Federal Govt itself characterizes it as ” Long-standing systemic health and social inequities”

    COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
    Updated June 25, 2020

    Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age.

    Among some racial and ethnic minority groups, including non-Hispanic black persons, Hispanics and Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, evidence points to higher rates of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 than among non-Hispanic white persons.

    As of June 12, 2020, age-adjusted hospitalization rates are highest among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native and non-Hispanic black persons, followed by Hispanic or Latino persons.

    Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have a rate approximately 5 times that of non-Hispanic white persons,

    non-Hispanic black persons have a rate approximately 5 times that of non-Hispanic white persons,

    Hispanic or Latino persons have a rate approximately 4 times that of non-Hispanic white persons.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html

    Now what does Jim B say? this data was easily found…

    • Larry, your numbers suggest that non-white populations are catching the virus more often. Jim’s numbers suggest they are well treated when they do.

      People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
      Chronic kidney disease
      COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
      Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
      Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
      Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
      Sickle cell disease
      Type 2 diabetes mellitus

      To the degree that minority populations carry those pre-existing conditions more than the majority, they are more likely to get sick enough to require hospitalization or nursing home care.

      I wrote and the Virginia House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions passed in February a bill to improve access to primary care for poor people in Virginia. It was not supported by the Northam administration and was killed in the Appropriations committee by some of the same people who voted for it the day before in Health, Welfare and Institutions.

      The enormous savings to state Medicaid expenditures were documented by the first five years of results of identical legislation and program in Maryland. The opposition to the bill came from hospital lobbyists, because the savings in Maryland were traced to fewer hospitalizations. If the hospital lobby opposes a bill, it loses.

      So you might wish to consider that that a clear and money saving initiative introduced by a Republican to reduce hospitalizations among minorities was defeated by Democrats owned and operated by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. It was tailored specifically to address some of the root causes of the minority health issue you cite.

      • re: ” So you might wish to consider that that a clear and money saving initiative introduced by a Republican to reduce hospitalizations among minorities was defeated by Democrats owned and operated by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. It was tailored specifically to address some of the root causes of the minority health issue you cite.”

        Would these be the same Republicans who steadfastly refused to expand Medicaid in Virginia then lost their majority in the GA because of that?

        So you’re telling me that the guys who fought the Medicaid Expansion now wanted to “help” and the folks who supported the Medicaid expansion – don’t want to help?

        hmmm…. seems a bit counterintuitive…

        I don’t really trust the GOP when it comes to immigration and health care… call me a skeptic… they talk the talk for sure.. they take “positions” especially when it benefits them politically – but when you get down to the nitty gritty – they are more often than not – AWOL.

  3. I suspect the core issue is having/not having health insurance and having/not having good health before COVID hit, along with being in jobs that could not be done remotely. Generally those without health insurance are less likely to seek care. It is likely that new immigrants in entry level jobs do not have health insurance. Thus, they can be expected to be required to leave home to work, tested less often since they don’t have health insurance, and to avoid the cost of going to the hospital unless they just have to with COVID. All of this leads to worse outcomes. Race, income, access to benefits, type of job and more is tied up in this. These days when race is even one of the factors in play, it gets attention. Folks are trying to make the point that when groups are disadvantaged they have a hard time turning things around. Those without health insurance get less care because they can’t afford it.

    • There are those who refuse to believe this… and also claim they’ve not seen data that documents it…. not sure why it’s so hard to deal with the reality of it.

    • “These days when race is even one of the factors in play, it gets attention.”

      Very true, which points out who are the racists here.

    • You make a reasonable hypothesis that is worthy of discussion: that lack of access to primary care contributes to Hispanics having a higher incidence of co-existing conditions that might affect their susceptibility to COVID-19. According to the CDC Hispanics overall have 35% less heart disease than whites, but 50% higher death rate from diabetes, 23% more obesity, and 34% more poorly controlled high blood pressure. CDC says they need more preventive screenings.

      Interestingly, foreign-born Hispanics (which include illegals, presumably a group that is less likely to be insured and have access to primary care) have half the heart disease of U.S.-born Hispanics, 48% less cancer, 29% less high blood pressure, and 45% more high cholesterol. In other words, there is clearly a lifestyle factor at work here — and the Hispanics suffering the ill effects of unhealthy lifestyles are more likely, not less, to have access to insurance and the healthcare system.

      • re: ” In other words, there is clearly a lifestyle factor at work here — and the Hispanics suffering the ill effects of unhealthy lifestyles are more likely, not less, to have access to insurance and the healthcare system.”

        And those that DO have access to healthcare have BETTER “lifestyles”?

        Don’t you think that people who have access to health care have such conditions TREATED and managed whereas those that do not, don’t?

        Do you take a statin? Do you think those without access to healthcare take statins?

        How about insulin? Do you think those who have access to healthcare have healthier lifestyles and don’t need insulin as a result?

        Or do people who have access to healthcare – also have access to insulin as well as other screenings and treatments to manage their conditions?

        Your premise seems to be that people who have access to healthcare have healthier lifestyles and that’s why they are better off and the healthcare is just an additional benefit.

        I can’t tell if you really think this way or this is your way of arguing a counter argument.

  4. Illegal immigration has lots of consequences. When you are in another country without permission, you don’t generally have much access to a safety net. A good argument can be made that employers of unauthorized workers should bear all costs of extending a safety net. If they had to pay all of these costs, the market for unskilled labor would even out with citizens and legal residents. I dare say, it might even tilt in favor of the latter.

    Why do people here illegally generate more sympathy than lawful residents? With the high unemployment rate, a company hiring an unauthorized worker should be heavily fined.

  5. The problem – as discussion before – involves folks who want cheap labor that lacks basic worker rights – they want that – and they evade E-Verify.

    They basically invite/encourage the illegal immigrants.. offering them the jobs they want.

    If we were serious about E-Verify – like the Canadians are – we’ve have guest workers not illegal immigrants but too many employers – like the meat packers – actually want illegals… they can pay them less and the workers have little or no protections… they get COVID19 – and they are toast. This is not rocket science. We just have some folks who pretend it is.

    • I’m with you Larry. We’ve effectively privatized the benefits of illegal immigration (employers pay workers less) while the costs are passed on to society in general in terms of higher taxes and less money available for other non-safety net programs. If I were a judge, I’d throw the book at any employer of illegal workers who violated and law or regulation.

      Meat packers is a great example. My dad worked for the Telephone Company. For many years, he installed and repaired phones at the South St. Paul packing plants. Later, he supervised workers who did the same jobs. He knew a lot about the meatpacking industry. Meatpacking was always a dirty and dangerous job but it paid well. The jobs were unionized. Lots of kids who went to South St. Paul HS went to college on their meatpacker parents’ income.

      But with the availability of illegal workers, many union plants shut down. Meatpacking plants opened in rural areas and attracted illegal labor. They paid less at least in real terms. And a corrupt bargain between Democrats and Republicans keep them operating, making more profits, while pushing the social costs to taxpayers.

      • Much of our food supply comes from undocumented workers.

        We all benefit from it.. Prices would be much higher for a lot of food if it were not processed by low-paid workers – who have few worker protections and no health insurance.

        It’s hypocrisy for us to go after the illegals when we are the reason they are here in the first place. If we did this the way Canada does – with guest workers – we have less illegals – and, like the Canadians – higher price food.

  6. First, remember the Hispanic/Latino designation is not based on race, but on self-identification in Virginia Dept of Health stats. But overlooking that, the CDC death certificate breakdown for
    COVID-19 and Covid-19 with pneumonia for 2/1 to w/E 7/4:
    Hispanic ………. 295 deaths 12.6%
    Asian Non-Hispanic 132 5.6%
    Black Non-Hispanic 573 24.5%
    White Non-Hispanic 1343 57.3%

    (Numbers for Native American, Pacific Islanders, more than one race were low and suppressed.)

  7. If an unknown number of Hispanic workers in Virginia are undocumented, how accurate is the proportion of Hispanics in the population that is used to calculate inequity?

  8. so is this valid?

    • Covid-Net “collects data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among children and adults through a network of over 250 acute-care hospitals” in 99 counties in 14 states. Virginia is not one of them. CDC says, “The designated COVID-NET surveillance area is generally similar to the U.S. population by demographics; however, the information might not be generalizable to the entire country.”
      State % of State Population No. of participating counties
      California 9% 3
      Colorado 49% 5
      Connecticut 29% 2
      Georgia 39% 8
      Iowa 4% 1
      Maryland 100% 24
      Michigan 13% 5
      Minnesota 55% 7
      New Mexico 61% 7
      New York 11% 15
      Ohio 18% 10
      Oregon 44% 3
      Tennessee 26% 8
      Utah 36% 1

  9. Jim is overreacting. Foy did not say or imply that Virginia is a “hellhole”. She stated the obvious: Hispanics have a history “of disparate access to information, testing, and treatment”. The reasons for this are not necessarily based on race or ethnic animus, but are those laid out so well by vaconsumeradvocate. Mr. Bacon has been conditioned to react negatively to the terms “inequities” and “systemic”. Nowhere in the passage quoted did Foy accuse Virginians of being prejudiced against Hispanics. For the most part, these are poor people, with a history of inadequate access to health care.

    • Dick, re-read what I wrote. I consciously avoided attributing to Foy the sentiment that Virginia is a “hellhole.” I did not attribute that characterization to her. Neither did I say that Foy accused Virginians of being prejudiced against Hispanics. But you know darn well that there are plenty of people who do think there is systemic racism against Hispanics, and not a few who think of Virginia as a hellhole of prejudice! And her rhetoric plays right into their hands.

      • this is the “I only IMPLIED that – I never actually said it”… response!

        Jim is careful with words… he gets the point across but does not explicitly say the words…

        ” It is so widely assumed that Virginia is a hellhole of inequity and prejudice that no one even tries to prove statements like Foy’s. (She’s hardly alone in making them.) The allegations are accepted without question.”

        who “widely assumes” and what exactly has Foy said?

        That’s good… and I have stumbled on it also…on others….

    • consumeradvocate fudged the issue. The issue is chiefly people who are here illegally. There is a difference between an immigrant and an illegal one. My kids and one of my nieces and one of my nephews are immigrants – legal ones. My son had a nanny who was a a legal immigrant from Bolivia.
      And damn right, we paid social security and unemployment taxes for her.
      Many of my neighbors are immigrants – legal ones.

      Why should we find a way to impose additional taxes or tax penalties on employers who hire unauthorized workers with the proceeds going to pay the additional costs of social services, etc. needed by illegal residents? We privatize the benefits and social ize the costs.

      • The thing is – we could stop it and we choose not to. And then we divert and distract the issue by blaming it on “illegals”.

        The “illegals” are incentivized and encouraged to come here because of our policies that invite them because we do not go after the employers of them.

        We incentivize it and we evade identifying those who do incentivize it by demonizing ordinary folks whose big crime is trying to find a better life for them and their families. They are pawns.

        • Larry, did you read what I wrote? I’m advocating imposing major financial penalties on employers who hire people who are not in the country legally and are ineligible to work. Hell, the feds ought to offer financial rewards to people who turn in employers. Go after the employers and the incentive to cross the border illegally goes away.

          • I did – but it’s what I call talk-the-talk. We could have, should have done this a long time ago but all we’ve done is talk and demonize ordinary folks whose big sin is wanting a better life for themselves and their families.

            We need the labor, no question. We need them to come here and do the work that needs to be done but they need to be paid a fair wage, have worker protections, and health care – which will increase costs for products and services to us.

            we insist on having it both ways and demonizing ordinary people to boot.

          • TooManyTaxes

            “Wanting a better life for themselves and their families.” One can make that argument on virtually every economic issue. How about cheating on one’s tax returns?

      • I think we should imprison employers who hire unauthorized workers. One year in a penitentiary for each illegal alien hired.

  10. Of course, no one, not even Jim in this post, dares to utter the truth that many, likely a great majority of these folks, entered the United States illegally, and often resist contacting the “authorities”, including health workers, for fear of “being caught.”

    In light of these facts and realities, America, including Virginia, has done a magnificent job helping these people through Covid 19 plague, an effort unprecedented in World history, as these statistics plainly show.

    What other country would respond this way to an invasion of foreigners? China? Cuba? Mexico? Venezuela? Turkey? Russia? Iran? Japan?

  11. Other countries also import cheap labor for agriculture and service work. But many of them DO provide health care to those who they bring in for cheap labor.

    Canada has an effective guest worker program where those workers return home at the end of their work period.

    We could do that also but the business community in the US opposes it – they do not support mandatory E-Verify because undocumented workers are cheaper and have no real worker protections.

    We essentially encourage undocumented workers because they know that some employers will hire them. In Canada – such a business can be hauled into court and have heavy fines….

    Also – more that 1/2 of our “undocumented” do NOT come in from Latin America. They come in on airplanes from Europe and Asia and they overstay their work visas…

    headline: ” Lack of international workers hurts Virginia Beach tourism”

    Jun 21, 2020 and last updated 4:57 PM, Jun 21, 2020
    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.– Suspension of a program that brings international students to the U.S. for summer work has left businesses in Virginia Beach struggling to find employees.

    The Virginian-Pilot reports that more than 1,000 international students work every summer in Virginia Beach at hotels and other businesses catering to tourists under the J-1 Visa Student Work Travel program.

    But the visa program has been temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    It normally allows international students to work four months in the U.S. and stay an additional month for travel.

    Restaurateurs and hoteliers in the city say that as demand is picking up they are scrambling to find enough workers.

  12. An absolutely hilarious argument string over a totally untested and unproven premise: That 43% of Virginia’s COVID infections (or even positive tests) involve individuals with Hispanic ancestry (as opposed to English, Irish, Russian etc). Neither Candidate Carroll-Foy nor Bacon should have accepted that from the get go….but both had reasons for taking it on board and using it for their own purposes. First, probably not true and, second, of no importance whatsoever.

    • Steve, what basis do you have for saying that “43% of Virginia’s COVID infections involve individuals with Hispanic ancestry” is an untested, unproven premise? Are you saying that percentage of “confirmed cases” is not necessarily the same as the percentage in the general population?

    • So, when I argued “for my own purposes” that it is reckless to spout claims about systemic inequities without any statistical basis for those claims, what purposes do you suppose I had?

  13. You go Haner! Neither Bacon nor Fawell have any idea what they are talking about.

  14. Steve just perfectly illustrated my earlier point copied in below including edits.

    Sometimes, the most simple and obvious things cannot be seen by even the most educated people. This shows those people to be ideologues. And it is also critically necessary to understand that ideologue leaders are maladjusted highly educated people, like Lenin, for example. And that such people breed even more ideologues, soldiers and bureaucrats, by the thousands to enlist those truth believer ideologue followers in the righteous path of their ideologue leaders’ sick visions of how our society, and all other people within our society, must believe, behave and act in order to fulfill the private, twisted vision of the ideologue leaders.

    This is where America, and its ruling classes, its many levels of governments, schools and universities, and now even many of its largest high tech companies, are now strongly trending.

    This is by reason of their indoctrination of our children, turning them into ideologue true believer activists and passive clones, that has been ongoing in American schools for decades now, all of it happening under our noses without our complaint. We are at last reaping what we have sown.

  15. Okay, I’ll get sucked in — will regret it. So I went to the Virginia Department of Health, and see where the number came from. I do not trust VDH to count beans….but it is also mixing race and national origin as if they were one and the same. (Or have any medical significance.) The CDC tracks people differently and thus shows a smaller Hispanic and perhaps higher black percentage. Also, the VDH is still showing like 20-25% unknown. So it may be 43% of 75%.

    It is undisputed that the vast majority of cases, even involving people with symptoms, never get tested or listed on these reports. The number of antibody tests showing this is now enormous. Virginia may be approaching 700,000 plus actual cases.

    My preference would be to ignore this totally — it is only there as a political football for all to kick. The truth is it sucks to be poor and working in a job where you can’t sit behind a computer at home all day. Whether you are black, white, named Smith or Gomez. This is a stupid argument.

    From the very first week of COVID, Jim and I have looked out the windows of our locked town homes to see the Hispanic workmen of the grounds crew making their rounds. They never missed a day in March, April. I’ll dispute white privilege, but wealth privilege is real, Jim, and you and I got it.

    • re: ” My preference would be to ignore this totally — it is only there as a political football for all to kick. The truth is it sucks to be poor and working in a job where you can’t sit behind a computer all day. Whether you are black, white, named Smith or Gomez. This is a stupid argument.”

      not from me. You’re dead on and I too don’t understand why this is such a “topic”.

      • One of Haner’s Laws of Politics is “Always Make Them Pay the Price.” The Current Occupant since 2015 has ridden enmity toward Hispanics, especially those who slipped in without kissing the right asses, to garner votes from low information white voters. So Democrats, not above sinking to his level, are doing their best to gather up those votes for their own cause by pandering. That is why. My dear friend and neighbor doesn’t understand he and Candidate Carroll-Foy are playing off each other like a dance pair.

    • Steve, had you noticed what happened when VDH conflated Hispanic ethnicity with race in mid-June?
      Perentage changes for cases, hospitalizations and deaths (in that order)
      Black – Unchanged except for a 0.1% increase from new hospitalizations.
      White dropped 11.3%, 10.7% and 6.2%
      Other dropped 20.1%, 27%, and 9.35%
      Unknown dropped 2.7%, 2.4%, and1.5%
      Added
      Asian 3.4%, 5.7%, 5.5%
      Native American added 0.1%, 0.1%, 0.1%
      Two or more races added 0.3%, 0.3%, 0.1%
      Latino with 33.9%, 33.8%, and 10.1%

      Unknown has continued to increase since then as you noted.

  16. Bacon and Fawell. Did either of you get off your WASP butts and actually talk to the Hispanics you are so grandly assessing? Or is it just a numbers crunch game that passes for honest reporting atBR?

    • “Bacon and Fawell. Did either of you get off your WASP butts and actually talk to the Hispanics you are so grandly assessing?”

      Yes, in great depth and detail. For example, the wife of one wears my grandmother’s wedding ring, my gift to them both. I’ve also spoken at length here on my experience helping to educate Hispanic kids where English is a second language not spoken at home.

      As to this comment of yours:
      “Bacon and Fawell … get off your WASP butts,” – what a crude and rude bigot you are, Galuszka.

  17. Has anyone seen an explanation for why Hispanics have 33% of the COVID-19 cases and whites have 21.6% of the cases per VDH, but CDC has Hispanics with only 11% of the deaths, while whites have 57% of the deaths?

    Do Hispanics have some super-immunity that improves their survival rate–or is VDH playing with the case numbers?

  18. Be grateful for Hispanics. The high percentage of Virginians with COVID who are Hispanics doesn’t show they are victims of racial discrimination, but rather, that they are economic assets to the state. Hispanics work disproportionately in essential jobs that continued to function during the epidemic, which increased their risk of exposure. Food service workers, plumbers, etc., are disproportionately Hispanic. Without them, life would be worse, and consumers would suffer. Fortunately, Hispanics in Virginia are younger than non-Hispanic whites, so their mortality rate from COVID has been low.

    • Fred –

      I am with you on this. Without Hispanics our nation would come to a halt for lack of workers. You see this fact at work all over.

      For example:

      A long established (70 year old) heavy infrastructure construction company that does major road, bridge, and tunnel work in the middle Atlantic states has 700 construction workers, ALL of whom are now Hispanic.

      These Hispanic workers include skilled trades that range from heavy machine operators to masonry workers (trades that pay from low of $70 per hour up to $130 per hour) and extend from there down to day laborers who earn as low as $11 an hour. This now all Hispanic work force, includes fathers and sons.

      In the late 1960s this same company’s construction workers, including highly skilled trades down to day laborers, was comprised almost entirely of black workers, including up to three generations from some families. These black workers are now entirely gone, and they have been gone for decades.

      Over time the black workers were replaced first by whites, who drove long distances to work to replace blacks who dropped out of the company work pool on their own volition. Then the whites dropped out of the labor pool on their own volition to be replaced by Hispanics with a far stronger work ethic, and work and family culture. These are people who still want the work and raise families and take care of one another in a responsible self sufficient way.

      And of course, as you note, Hispanics are flooding into many of these same sorts of jobs across the board, into all positions, as owners, managers, supervisors and workers.

      The truth is that many “traditional” Americans have lost the work ethic, the culture of work, and the culture of family and community. Much of this ruination of our ethics and culture is due to our leaders’ and our governments” policies that actively discourage work, family, community, and responsibility while promoting grievance and toxic group conflict.

      Of course, most Hispanics today still believe in multi-generational families, dense living patterns, and tight nit communities as all recent immigrant groups have historically lived worked in America. This also promotes Covid -19 Contagion.

      The overall lesson here is that America has become, or is quickly becoming, a very toxic place. Covid-19 is a relatively minor short term problem, as compared to America’s rapidly spreading cultural rot that now threatens us all, as it consumes our communities and nation like a toxin eating us alive.

  19. Sadly we are acquainted with a Hispanic family in NoVA ( I am told they actually commuted here from Maryland for work) that both the husband and wife died of COVID. Suffice to say, many types of home improvements work or home service in NoVA tends to be offered by hard working Hispanics.

    I am very curious about why the Hispanic Community in NoVA was hit so hard by the COVID.

    In general, officials have placed a defacto ban on explaining to the public why many COVID cases are happening. For example nursing homes. The justification is to protect the privacy of the victims and other excuses. A few things we do know: don’t sing in choir, don’t go to a bar, don’t go to nursing home. For everything else, that is confidential information. Thus I do not feel like we are getting the full explanation of the tragedy besetting the Hispanic community here, except in general guessing the reasons along political story lines.

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