A Yale University professor said the Trump administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus resembled “genocide” and questioned whether officials could be held responsible under international law.
“What else do you call mass death by public policy?” Dr. Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of law and epidemiology at Yale, asked in a tweet last week.
“So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?” Gonsalves continued. “And I am being serious here. What is happening in the U.S. is purposeful, considered negligence, omission, failure to act by our leaders. Can they be held responsible under international law?”
In a separate thread, Gonsalves queried how many people will die from the virus over the summer and before Election Day and wondered how many of the deaths will be minorities.
How many people will die this summer, before Election Day? What proportion of the deaths will be among African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color? This is getting awfully close to genocide by default. What else do you call mass death by public policy? #COVID19 #coronavirus
— Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) May 6, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said minorities have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic due to economic and social conditions combind with their overrepresentation in service industry jobs that cannot be performed from home.
“The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging,” the CDC said. “However, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups.”
A Rutgers University professor last month accused the Trump administration of deliberately killing minorities.
Brittney Cooper, a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies associate professor at Rutgers said the coronavirus outbreak is “all about a gross necropolitical calculation that it is Black people who are dying disproportionately from COVID.”
The Trump administration’s early attempts at widespread testing were plagued by logistical difficulties as medical testing companies admitted they became overwhelmed with a backlog of tests to analyze, forcing patients and doctors to wait to obtain a test. Early rounds of test kits distributed by the CDC were defective, causing further delays in testing capacity that continued until the virus was already widespread around the country.