Numbers show a disproportionate number of black Americans are dying due to the coronavirus, doctors and officials say.
Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, a family physician and epidemiologist, said structural segregation and inequality in US society has positioned black Americans and other minorities to be more exposed to the virus, and have more severe cases because of other health issues.
“The residential segregation that turns it into employment segregation, educational segregation, environmental hazard segregation, all of those insults on our bodies have given us more of these so-called pre-existing conditions,” Phyllis Jones said. “Once we are infected, we have more severe outcome from the disease.”
She said this same segregation also means that black people work jobs that are seen as less valuable, and as a result, they are not as protected. Phyllis Jones pointed out another reason cases are resulting in death could be the limited access to health care.”What’s happening is black folks are getting infected more because they are exposed more and once infected they’re dying more,” she said.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a press briefing yesterday about 70% of coronavirus deaths in the state have been black residents who make up only about 32% of the overall population.
In Illinois, about 42% of deaths have been black patients, who make up only about 15% of the population there. In Michigan, black residents make up about 14% of the statewide population, and account for more than 40% of the deaths
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said yesterday that 72% of all Chicago deaths related to Covid-19 have been black Chicagoans.