The time is long gone when CNN Talking Head Dr. Sanjay Gupta could flatly assert that Covid-19 “doesn’t discriminate based on race.” It does, albeit for reasons that are not fully understood. Now a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association has presented evidence that a previously overlooked factor may be relevant: race differences in a gene which impacts how easily you can stop Covid-19 entering your body.
There are clear race differences in the prevalence and deadliness of Covid-19 and, as I have previously reported, these differences persist even if you control for the socioeconomic factors that the Left insists are responsible for the disparities. For example, South Asian doctors in Britain’s NHS are much more likely to succumb than white doctors. One factor for which a strong case has been advanced: the ability to synthesize UV Light into Vitamin D. Non-whites, in Western countries, suffer from Vitamin D deficiency because their dark skin renders them less able to absorb UV Light and so synthesise it into Vitamin D. Europeans’ white skin probably evolved in winter darkness for this very reason.
The new study—“Racial/Ethnic Variation in Nasal Gene Expression of Transmembrane Serine Protease 2 (TMPRSS2)”—was published in the prestigious journal on September 10th and was carried out by three researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York [Supinda Bunyavanich; Chantal Grant, MD; and Alfin Vicencio]. It sets out to make sense of why African-Americans suffer a death rate from Covid-19 that is around three times their proportion of the U.S. population.
The researchers tested a sample of 305 people in their local hospital system, the sample being 8.2% Asian, 15.4% Black, 26.6% Latino, 9.5% mixed race/ethnicity, and 40.3% White. Their key finding: the expression of the Transmembrane serine protease 2 (shortened to TMPRSS2) was significantly higher among black individuals than it was in Asian, Latino, mixed race/ethnicity, or white individuals.
Why is this important? Covid-19 enters the body via contact with its airways, such as the tissues in the nose. If the TMPRSS2 gene is present in its strong form, then the body will produce high levels of the enzyme. This enzyme, present in the body’s tissues, means that the virus is better able to enter the tissues and so spread throughout the body, potentially killing the host.
If the host has a high expression of TMPRSS2 in its nasal tissues, then, write the authors, “this activates the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and cleaves the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor to which the virus binds, enabling SARS-CoV-2 to enter the body” and also more easily spread.
According to the research, blacks expressed TMPRSS2 at a higher rate than Asians. Asians expressed it more than Latinos, Latinos had a higher expression than Mixed race people and these, in turn, had a higher expression than whites.
This means that with regard not just to the ability to synthesise UV Light into Vitamin D, but also with regard to this cause, whites are the best adapted of these races to successfully fight off Covid-19. The nasal tissues of whites are such that, compared to other races, the Corona virus finds it more difficult to penetrate white tissues and spread through white bodies.
By contrast, the WuFlu finds it relatively easy to penetrate black tissues and spread through black bodies. As the researchers summarize:
Given the essential role of TMPRSS2 in SARS-CoV-2 entry, higher nasal expression of TMPRSS2 may contribute to the higher burden of COVID-19 among Black individuals . . . The finding of racial/ethnic variation in TMPRSS2 expression emphasizes that inclusion of diverse participants and analyses stratified by race/ethnicity should be incorporated into such trials.
In plain English, the researchers have demonstrated once again that Covid-19 is not an “equal opportunity” disease and that it disproportionately impacts blacks for genetic reasons, among others. This means that supposedly “privileged” whites should feel no guilt whatsoever about the way in which Covid-19 disproportionately impacts blacks (except in as far as they listened to race-deniers like Dr. Gupta).
And it also means that, for all but the least healthy white people, the inconvenience, destruction of liberty and economic disaster brought about by the WuFlu shutdowns has been, essentially, in vain.
It is a Democrat campaign talking point that the U.S. may have the most deaths of any developed country. But this is to be expected when about 40% of the U.S. population are non-whites and these are genetically much more likely to die of Covid-19 than are whites. To criticize the Trump Administration on this basis, as the Democrats are doing, is akin to bemoaning high crime rates in the U.S. without taking into account that blacks are a significant minority in the U.S. and commit crime at roughly the same high rates they do in black-majority countries.
One problem with the TMPRSS2 hypothesis: the incidence of Covid-19 in Africa itself is quite low. I first pointed this out in April and it continues to be the case: COVID-19 in Africa: Milder-than-expected pandemic has experts puzzled, DW, September 14, 2020.
It’s possible that the benefits conferred by blacks’ greater ability to absorb vitamin-D in the African climate, combined with their relative absence of life-style diseases like obesity, to which American blacks are particularly prone, simply overwhelm the TMPRSS2 effect. Plus African blacks, under greater selection pressure, may have relatively stronger immune systems.
Which presumably means that JAMA must publish wilful lies that back up her ideology rather than do science.
As another tweeter, a PhD researcher in Mathematics, responded:
“Scary. Here we have findings that could possibly lead to better outcomes for a certain group of people, and here is a medical professional in the grips of ideology, who really just cares about the ideology.”
Indeed. To adapt the mantra with which I have gotten into the habit of concluding my WuFlu articles:
If Covid-19 is not an Equal Opportunity disease, that means our race-denying Ruling Class [people like Rose Olsen, MD] is frightening most people too much—and not warning some people enough. This will not merely cause unnecessary chaos—it will cost lives.
Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.