US Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is no stranger to adversity. Throughout his life, he's always found a way to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. He writes about that in a new book, Opportunity Knocks.
On Wednesday's 700 Club, Sen. Scott talked with host Pat Robertson about the challenge we're all facing today with the Coronavirus pandemic.
Scott says the virus is having a disproportionate effect on the African-American community because so many have underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable.
"What we're finding is if you have asthma or high blood pressure, those two morbidities place you at greater risk due to the Coronavirus. So the African-American community has a disproportionate number of folks who are negatively impacted by high blood pressure specifically, and asthma," Scott said.
"So what we're trying to do is have a communication call with African-American pastors, lay leaders, business leaders, to focus attention on the dangers that the COVID-19 or Coronavirus is having in the black community," he continued.
Scott said that while he believes they're making progress in South Carolina, the reality is that African-Americans constitute 46 percent of the deaths in the state, while comprising only 27 percent of the population, so there is still a long way to go.
He said the White House reached out to him about the disproportionate number of deaths in communities of color before he had a chance to reach out to them. "So it's a good sign that they're paying attention to the statistics," he said.
To watch Pat Robertson's full interview with Sen. Tim Scott on Wednesday's 700 Club, click on the box above.
Opportunity Knocks tells his personal story of being raised in poverty by his single mom. It follows his journey of faith through Fellowship of Christian Athletes, tells how he benefited from a mentor who helped shape his outlook, became a successful small business owner and, eventually, committed to using his political platform to positively affect the lives of a billion people through a message of hope and opportunity.
During this season of economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott is optimistic the economy will come back, although he believes it will happen slowly.
"I do think we'll have a V-shaped recovery," Scott predicted. "I think we'll have a bounce around August. People will have to get over the psychological scar tissue that has come about because of the Coronavirus. But that progress will start in May. It'll get better in June. And it'll be humming by August. So I'm excited about the future," he said.
Sen. Scott believes that investment and commerce are the best ways to rebuild America's most impoverished communities – the idea behind his signature Opportunity Zones legislation strongly endorsed by President Trump. The program provides tax incentives for businesses that invest in low-income urban areas, seeking to replace things like welfare and government assistance.
There are some 9,000 opportunity zones in cities around the country. "[They] are a phenomenal opportunity for folks who have a capital gains tax burden. And after 10 years in your new investment you owe zero in capital gains tax," Scott said. "That's another strong and advantageous reason to take a second look at areas where today people are a little more skeptical. We have to encourage people to take a second look at those very important areas of our country."
Scott believes capitalism and free enterprise are the keys to prosperity for all Americans. "There's no question that the one thing you can guarantee with socialism is that those folks at the bottom stay at the bottom. Because it really becomes a caste system. No one from the bottom moves up," he explained. "And in free markets and economic opportunity areas like America what you see is every single every American has the opportunity to make their own decision on what they buy, what the sell, and how they move forward in commerce," he said.
"The great thing about America is no matter where you're from, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, the American Dream is alive, it is well. It requires economic freedom, and the anchor to economic freedom is capitalism. It's the independence that's woven into our fabric that allows us to literally flourish beyond – at least my – wildest imaginations. I cannot imagine having grown up in a single-parent household, mired in poverty, a mother who was a nurse's aide, changing bedpans and moving patients, to becoming a United States Senator. That story is only possible – and you can read about it in Opportunity Knocks – here in America," he concluded.
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