The coronavirus pandemic is affecting particularly strong black and brown people on all fronts

Early data shows racial disparity in coronavirus deaths

It seemed to affect people of all races, backgrounds and income levels, from Hollywood actors to NBA players to low-wage workers.

But as more data becomes available, one thing is clear: Covid-19 has only amplified the systemic inequalities that persist in the United States. And non-white Americans, particularly African Americans, have been hit hard on almost all fronts.

Although the available data paint a dark picture, the numbers are incomplete. Much of the state and federal data on Covid-19 cases and deaths are preliminary, while information on race and ethnicity is not even available for tens of thousands of cases. Defense groups they called on the federal government to publish more detailed numbers and experts and community leaders fear that reality could be even worse.
“When white America catches cold America, black catches pneumonia,” Steven Brown, a research associate with the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank, told CNN Business.

Here’s what we know about how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting African Americans.

Die at higher rates

African Americans are dying at disproportionately higher rates than all other ethnic groups.

As of Thursday, 16,329 black Americans have died from Covid-19, according to an analysis by the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab.

About 61,000 deaths for which race and ethnicity data were available. About 75,000 people in total had died of coronavirus at the time of the analysis, a number that has risen to over 77,000 as of Friday.

APM has collected its data from 38 states and the District of Columbia who are reporting the race and ethnicity of residents who have died from Covid-19.

To put those numbers into context, African Americans compensate 13% of the American population, according to the Census Bureau, but 27% of Covid-19’s known deaths.
On the contrary, approx 60% of the American population it is white, but makes up 49% of Covid-19’s known deaths. Hispanics or Latins are approx 18% of the populationand 17% of the deaths. Americans of Asian origin account for about 6% of the population and 5% of deaths.
A recent study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and clinicians from four universities found similar results. That study compared counties with a disproportionate number of black residents – those with a population of 13% or more – with those with a lower number of African American residents.

Counties with higher populations of black residents accounted for 52% of coronavirus diagnoses and 58% of Covid-19 deaths nationwide, according to the study.

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“Social conditions, structural racism and other factors increase the risk of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities,” wrote researchers from Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Mississippi and Georgetown University.

More likely to live in viral hotspots

In some cities and states, disparities are even more evident – and the Latins are also severely affected.

Black residents in Kansas are seven times more likely to die of viruses than white residents, according to the APM Research Lab analysis.

In Missouri, Wisconsin and Washington, DC, African Americans are six times more likely to die than whites, according to APM analysis, and in Michigan and five times more likely.

People in power don't seem to be the hardest hit by Covid-19

In Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oregon and South Carolina, African Americans are three to four times more likely to die of viruses than white residents, according to the APM analysis.

In New York City, more than 2 out of 1,000 black and African American residents died of Covid-19. More than 2 in 1,000 Hispanic and Latino residents died of the virus, rates that are substantially higher than those seen in the city’s white and Asian populations.
In California, Latins represent 39.8% of the Californian population, although they make up 48% of Covid-19 cases, according to the state health department.

Looking at mortality rates between different age groups, the impact is even more pronounced. Latin American residents represent 43% of the state’s population aged 18 to 49, but nearly 70% of deaths, according to the state’s health department. For residents aged between 50 and 64 and 65, mortality rates are also disproportionate.

In Chicago, Latinx residents wear makeup 38% of Covid-19 cases in the city, more than any other demographic group. According to the census data, Hispanics are 29% of the city population.

Even for black Americans who may not have become infected, the devastation has been personal.

About 1 in 4 black adults say they personally know someone who has been hospitalized or died of coronavirus, according to Pew Research Center.

Meanwhile, about 1 in 10 white Hispanic adults say they know someone who has been severely affected by the virus.

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They are losing their jobs at high rates

The pandemic has been devastating economically through non-white communities.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the past few weeks, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Friday.

The unemployment rate rose to 14.2% for white Americans, 16.7% for black Americans, 14.5% for Asian Americans and 18.9% for Hispanics, record highs for all ethnic groups except for African Americans.

Without further help, black-owned businesses may not survive the pandemic

Many others are experiencing wage cuts and other wage losses.

About 61% of Hispanic Americans and 44% of Black Americans reported in March and April that they or someone in their family had had a job or lost wages due to the coronavirus epidemic, compared with 38% of white adults , according to a Pew Research Center survey.

The losses are particularly devastating because black and brown communities were already in precarious economic situations.

About 73% of black Americans and 70% of Hispanics said in March and April that they don’t have funds for rainy days to cover expenses for three months in an emergency, according to the Pew survey.

As cities increase their application of social distancing, blacks seem to be disproportionately affected there.

New York police patrol Central Park on May 2 to ensure that people comply with social distance protocols.
More than 80% of those who were summoned to call for violations of social distancing in New York were black and Latino, according to data released Friday, confirming what local supporters and elected leaders clamored for later that law enforcement officers started more than six weeks ago.

Data revealed that 374 calls were distributed from March 16 to May 5, with an average of less than 10 calls per day over the 42-day period. And that total, 193 of those summonses issued were black and 111 were Hispanic, according to the New York City police department.

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Summons have been issued for what the NYPD has declared as violations of emergency procedures and acts that could spread disease. Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that disparities were indications of the need to correct something.

CNN’s Elizabeth Hartfield, Omar Jimenez, Elizabeth Joseph, Tami Luhby and Mallika Kallingal contributed to this report.


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