In several cities in the U.S, the novel coronavirus appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate.
African Americans have more existing medical issues, less access to health care, and are more likely to work in unstable jobs — all factors that have made the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affect blacks more, CNN reports.
While everyone is susceptible to Covid-19, black Americans are at higher risk, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said during an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday.
“We have early evidence that we need to pay particular attention to race and ethnicity,” Harris said Tuesday.
Public health officials have known that conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma disproportionately affect African Americans, Fauci said.
“Unfortunately, when you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus, the things that get people into ICUs that require incubation that often lead to death, they are just those very comorbidities.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that, of the 512 coronavirus deaths so far, more than 70 percent were African American patients, who make up just 32 percent of the state’s population.
Chicago, too, has seen similar numbers: Among those for whom race-ethnicity is known, 72% of the city’s deaths have been among blacks, who make up just 30% of the city’s population.
“This new data offers a deeply concerning glimpse into the spread of Covid-19 and is a stark reminder of the deep-seated issues which have long created disparate health impacts in communities across Chicago,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.