As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through America, Black populations, already vulnerable to a host of social determinant of health indicators, are disproportionately hit hard in a disturbing trend where observers indicate African Americans die at far higher rates than others. Although much data is still anecdotal, reports from Associated Press indicate in cities such as New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, and Milwaukee, Blacks are in disproportionate danger.
Much-needed demographic data from an Associated Press analysis reveal the dead are not yet tabulated; however, of the data that is available of the nearly 3,300 of the nation’s 13,000 deaths thus far, roughly 42% were African Americans. It turns out that African Americans represent about 21% of the total population in the regions covered in the study.
Social Determinants of health
As reported in AP, a legacy of institutionalized racism and inequity across many facets of society didn’t leave health care nor economic opportunity safe; hence, many Black people are far more vulnerable to the virus. For example, Black adults face higher rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma and other ailments that put them at great risk to the dangerous novel coronavirus. Troubling given the upper respiratory element associated with COVID-19, African Americans use tobacco at far higher rates than others. Moreover, African Americans overall don’t have as much access to health coverage as Whites, for example. In the realm of clinical research where new studies could potentially help save lives much research reveals many African American concerns about research. TrialSite News conducted such a survey in southeast Texas and the findings should be of interest to health clinicians and researchers.
Astounding Death Rates
Columbia University School of Social Work associate professor Courntey Cogburn reports that “The rate at which black people are dying, compared to whites, is really just astounding.” Professor Cogburn points to a dangerous zone when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic: the intersection of race and socioeconomic status make this more than just a class issue but also points to a distinctly racial element. President Donald Trump, acknowledging the problem, reported it was a “tremendous challenge” and was hoping federal health officials would release national ethnic and racial COVID-19 data soon.
Call to Action: Follow the link below to the Associated Press source analysis. The COVID-19 pandemic exposes such painful reality to America—there is hope to rebuild a new tomorrow, but society must first get through today and tomorrow. African Americans must be vigilant as statistically the death rates are considerably higher in some cities.