African Americans more likely to die from COVID-19, data shows

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Black Americans are disproportionately suffering from both the health crisis and the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They are also overwhelmingly supportive of social distancing.

One in 10 black Americans say they personally know someone who’s died from COVID-19, according to a new poll by Morning Consult.

Almost 20% of black Americans say someone in their household has lost their job amid the crisis.

Despite the devastating job losses, 70% of black Americans support strict social distancing for anyone who’s not an essential worker, the poll found.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has said the pandemic is “shining a bright light” on racial health disparities and “some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society.”

Black Americans are suffering disproportionately from both the public health crisis and the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and are overwhelmingly supportive of efforts to contain the virus.

One in 10 black Americans say they personally know someone who’s died from COVID-19, according to a new poll released by Morning Consult. Almost 20% of black Americans say someone in their household has lost their job amid the crisis.

Despite the devastating job losses, 70% of black Americans support strict social distancing for anyone who’s not an essential worker, the poll found.

Black Americans’ share of both deaths and job losses exceed the national average. Overall, 8% of American adults say they know someone who’s died of COVID-19 and 15% have faced a job loss in their household, the poll found.

 

 

Black Americans have been infected by the virus at almost twice the national rate, according to data released earlier this month. Data released by New York City earlier this month found that the coronavirus is killing black and Latino city residents at twice the rate it’s killing white residents.

At the same time, people of color disproportionately make up the ranks of essential frontline workers in hot spots like New York City, while just one in five black Americans nationally have jobs that allow them to work remotely.

The virus is again exposing the dramatic racial disparities in access to healthcare, job security, and underlying health status. And poverty and inequality are major risk factors when it comes to many diseases, including an infectious disease like COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, discussed earlier this month how black Americans are being hit particularly hard by the virus. Fauci said the pandemic is “shining a bright light” on racial health disparities and “some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society.”

“Health disparities have always existed for the African American community,” he said, adding that black Americans are disproportionately affected by the “underlying medical conditions — the diabetes, the hypertension, the obesity, the asthma” that make people particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Black Americans are also more likely to live in denser communities and multi-family households, factors the federal government has cited in accounting for the virus’ disparate impact.

But the Trump administration hasn’t spent much time publicly discussing racial disparities amid the outbreak. And when they have, their messaging has faced blowback.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who is black, was widely accused of stereotyping black people when he specifically urged people of color to stay away from drugs and alcohol during the public health crisis.

“Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs,” Adams said during an April 10 news conference. “We need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop.”

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California, accused Adams of using “his five minutes of fame to do Trump’s dirty work and insult African Americans and other communities of color.”

Adams also spoke about his own personal struggle with asthma, which disproportionately impacts black people. Since then, he hasn’t appeared at a White House press briefing and has made significantly fewer TV appearances.