African Americans are dying from novel coronavirus at higher rates than any other racial group in cities across the country, according to health officials.
During Tuesday’s daily White House COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, said the virus has led to a disproportionate number of deaths in the black community.
“We have a particularly difficult problem of exacerbation of a health disparity. We have known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionately afflicting the minority populations, particularly the African Americans,” Fauci explained.
“It’s very sad. There is nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid complications,” he added about people who have contracted the virus.
Despite claims on social media that black people are “immune” to COVID-19 because of melanin, the virus is having a devastating effect on black communities in Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and other cities.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday that the death toll from coronavirus now stands at 169. The county has compiled racial data on 93 of the deceased and found that “African Americans have a slightly higher rate of death than other races and ethnicities.”
Meanwhile in Milwaukee County, African Americans made up a staggering 81 percent of 27 deaths, according to a Friday story by nonprofit news organization ProPublica. Population wise, 26 percent of the county’s residents are black.
In Chicago, about 68 percent of people in the city who died from COVID-19 were African American, according to information from the Cook County medical examiner’s office and the Chicago Department of Public Health. That’s despite the fact that African Americans make up 30 percent of the city’s population.
In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that the state has seen a total of 14,867 cases and 512 deaths. He shared data saying the virus has hit the African American community particularly hard.
“Disturbingly, this information is going to show you that slightly more than 70 percent of all the deaths in Louisiana are of African Americans,” Edwards said. African Americans make up 32 percent of the state’s population, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
[Watch his briefing below]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those at high risk include:
-People with hypertension
-People with diabetes
-People with chronic lung disease or asthma
-Those with HIV or AIDS
-People with severe obesity
-People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
-People with liver disease
-People 65 years and older
-People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility