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As White House says social distancing measures working, black population hit hard by pandemic

iStock/Fokusiert(NEW YORK) — After telling the American public he sees “glimmers of very, very strong hope” during his daily Coronavirus Task Force press briefing, President Donald Trump maintained that the next two weeks will be “painful” and called COVID-19 a “monster.”

President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci then spoke about how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting the African American community.

While African Americans make up only 12.1 percent of the U.S. population, states are reporting a disproportionate amount of deaths within the black community versus other demographics.  

Said Fauci, “We are very concerned about that. It is very sad. There is nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid complications.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force coordinator, clarified those comments on Monday, “We don’t want to give the impression that the African-American community is more susceptible to the virus. We don’t have any data that suggests that.  What our data suggests is they are more susceptible to more difficult and severe disease, and poorer outcomes.”

As for flattening the curve in all communities, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, on ABC’s Good Morning America that he’s encouraged by the decline in activity reported in the country’s hot spots like Washington and California.

“I feel a lot more optimistic again because I’m seeing mitigation work,” he said.  He also strongly encouraged the American public to continue practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings when outside.

There are currently over 396,000 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as the death toll creeps closer to 13,000.  

Worldwide, 1.4 million people have been infected by the virus and at least 81,865 people have died as of Tuesday.

Italy remains the country with the highest death toll, over 17,100.

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