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Coronavirus: why African-Americans have been worse-affected

Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New York are all reporting an alarming number of African-Americans testing positive for coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: why African-Americans have been worse-affected

When the coronavirus first hit the United States the majority of people who were initially diagnosed with the disease were white.

But as public health officials watched cases rise in March the tide started to change. African Americans now account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city of Chicago and more than 70% of deaths, despite only making up 30% of the population.

After Covid-19 entered the state of Milwaukee through a affluent white suburb, it then traveled to the city’s black community and from there the outbreak erupted. Nearly 27% of the population in that state are black and nearly twice as many African-American residents have tested positive.

Other cities including Detroit, New Orleans and New York have also become hotspots for Covid-19 cases among African American communities. Louisiana is another state that has been hit hard by the coronavirus and nearly 70% of the people who have died there are African-American.

Why have there been more African-Americans cases?

Of course, the coronavirus does not distinguish between races and anyone can become infected, but the data released this week shows a high number of African-American’s testing positive for the virus according to an article from the New York Times. The report outlines four main reasons why the black community is being worsely affected by coronavirus:

  • They are less likely to be insured
  • They are more likely to have a health problem
  • They have less access to treatment due to discrimination
  • The majority of African Americans have jobs that don't allow them to work from home

There are much higher rates of chronic disease among black people compared to white, which puts them at higher risk of dying from Covid-19, said Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Public Health Department. Across the board, data has shown people with underlying health conditions are more likely to die from the virus. And now experts are demanding President Donald Trump to release more accurate data.


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