- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

President Biden said during a CNN town hall Tuesday night that Black and Hispanic Americans are getting vaccinated for the coronavirus at a slower rate than other demographics due, in part, to the fact that “not everybody” in those communities “know how to get online.”

“A lot of people don’t know how to register,” the president told CNN host Anderson Cooper. “Not everybody in the community, in the Hispanic and the African American community, particularly in rural areas that are distant and/or inner-city districts, know how to use — know how to get online to determine how to get in line for that COVID vaccination at the Walgreen’s or at the particular store.

“So, I’ve committed to spend a billion dollars on public education to help people figure out how they can get in there,” he added.

Mr. Biden was responding to a question from an audience member who asked how the administration planned to address the disparities in minorities getting vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report this month showing that of the 52% of people vaccinated, 60.4% were White, 11.5% were Hispanic, 6% were Asian, and 5.4% were Black.

As part of his answer to address the problem, Mr. Biden said, “there is some history of blacks being used as guinea pigs in other experiments … over the last 50 to 75 to 100 years in America. So there is a concern about getting the vaccine whether it’s available or not.”

“But the biggest part of this is access — physical access,” he continued, according to a White House transcript. “That’s why, last week, I opened up — I met with the Black Caucus in the United States Congress and agreed that I would — all — all of the fed — all of the community health centers now, which take care of the toughest of the toughest neighborhoods in terms of illness, they are going to get a million doses, you know, a week, in how we’re going to move forward, because they’re in the neighborhood.”

Mr. Biden also said he’s making sure there are “doses of vaccine for over 6,700 pharmacies” and providing mobile vaccination units to address access issues.

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