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Why Are MORE Black people dying from coronavirus in the US than any other group??

The Pan African Forum


From the USA Today

Communities of color have long faced disparities in the health care system in part because of discrimination, poor health and insufficient insurance coverage. This has particularly hurt African Americans in the Deep South, where most of the nation's black population is concentrated, health experts said.

"This exposes the structural deficits that we’ve all known about, but when you put an accelerant like coronavirus in the midst where African Americans are disparately impacted,'' it demands solutions, said Derrick Johnson, president of the national NAACP.

In New York, De Blasio called the data disturbing, and added that it reflects economic inequality and unequal access to healthcare.

“There are clear inequalities, clear disparities in how this disease is affecting the people of our city,” de Blasio said during a Wednesday morning news briefing. “The truth is that in so many ways the negative affects of coronavirus, the pain it’s causing, the death it’s causing, tracks with other profound health care disparities that we have seen for years and decades.”

The Pan African Forum

Black Americans are overwhelmingly dying of coronavirus at much higher rates compared to other Americans in some major cities, but most federal officials and states are not keeping track or releasing racial data on coronavirus victims, raising concerns about care for the nation's most vulnerable populations.

With coronavirus cases and related deaths soaring in cities with significant black populations, including New Orleans, Detroit and New York, civil rights groups, Democratic lawmakers and the White House have all called on federal health officials to release racial data to ensure resources and information are reaching every community affected by the outbreak.

President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House briefing Tuesday that African Americans were being hit hard by the coronavirus, representing a "tremendous challenge" for the nation, according to the president.

"We want to find the reason to it," Trump said, adding that national data on race and coronavirus cases should be available later this week.

Fauci said existing health disparities have made the outbreak worse for the African American community.

"So 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," Fauci said.

Less than a handful of states have released the information, including Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina. Data from these states show blacks are dying at a disproportionately higher rate compared with whites.

“This is a critical issue for us that we're raising and we're sounding the alarm,’’ said Hardie Davis, Jr., president of the African American Mayors Association and mayor of Augusta, Georgia.

In Illinois, for example, there were 12,262 coronavirus cases Monday and 307 deaths, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. Of the confirmed cases, 29.4% were black, 27.5% white, 9.4% Hispanic, 3.34% Asian and 24.4% were left blank. Of the deaths, 42% were black, 37.1% white, 7.5% Hispanic, 7% blank and 4.2% Asian. Roughly 15% of the state's population is black, while whites make up 77% of the state, according to the Census. 

In Michigan, the numbers were also bleak, with African Americans accounting for just 14% of the state's population, but 33% of COVID-19 cases and 41% of deaths.

In New York City, the coronavirus pandemic is killing Hispanics and African Americans at a disproportionate pace compared with their representation in the city’s population, according to preliminary data issued Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

 African-Americans represented 28% of the deaths, higher than their 22% representation in the city’s population, the data showed. In contrast, white New York City residents accounted for 27% of the deaths, lower than their 32% representation in the city population. And Asians represented 7% of the deaths, well below their 14% share of the population.

In Louisiana, one of the hardest hit states in the country, 70% of the deaths related to coronavirus were African American and 29% were white, according to the state’s health department. As of Monday, there were 14,867 cases across the state and 512 deaths. African Americans make up 32% of the state’s population.