*Early data from various hot spots have signified that African Americans are contracting and dying from coronavirus at a higher rate as opposed to white Americans. Allegedly, the virus had entered the inner city after an affluent white suburb and had quickly spread like wildfire in the inner city.
What’s even worse is that the Black community had been fed the misinformation that they were immune to the novel virus. Also, since they have a history with the government facing restrictions like mass incarceration and segregation, the majority from the community were reluctant to adhere to social distancing.
The Disproportionate Damage
As of April 3rd, African Americans comprised more than half of the 945 cases that had tested positive for the virus and 23 of the 27 deaths that were reported in Milwaukee County. This country is among those few in the United States who have been studying the racial breakdown of the coronavirus. This is why they have been able to point out the disproportionate destruction that has been inflicting the Black community all throughout the nation.
For instance, Michigan is a state that is 14% Black, and they made up for about 35% of the affected and about 40% of the deaths from the virus. On the other hand, Detroit, which also has a majority of Black residents, emerged with a very high death toll too. The very same is the case with New Orleans. Louisiana has still not published its racial breakdown of the affected, but at least 40% of all the deaths in the state have occurred in Orleans Parish. Here, again, most of the residents are Black.
North Carolina and Illinois are 2 states that have published their statistics of people affected by race, and even their data presents the disproportionate damage of the virus.
Why Is This Happening?
According to experts, the Black communities in these states have lesser access to health insurance, which covers coronavirus testing. This is why lawmakers and doctors are now calling for the government to present demographic statistics for coronavirus patients.
Dr. Camara Jones, a family physician, epidemiologist and visiting fellow at Harvard University who focuses on identifying, measuring and addressing racial bias within the medical system, said in an interview, “COVID is just unmasking the deep disinvestment in our communities, the historical injustices and the impact of residential segregation.” “This is the time to name racism as the cause of all of those things. The overrepresentation of people of color in poverty and white people in wealth is not just a happenstance… It’s because we’re not valued.”