New study shows just how badly black people have been hit by Covid-19

New study shows just how badly black people have been hit by Covid-19

Politico reports:

Counties across the country with a disproportionate number of African-American residents accounted for 52 percent of diagnoses and 58 percent of coronavirus deaths nationally, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The study, conducted by epidemiologists and clinician-researchers at four universities in conjunction with the nonprofit AIDS research organization amFar and PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, attempts to fill in the blanks as states report piecemeal data on race and ethnicity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released preliminary data on coronavirus cases broken down by race and ethnicity as provided by state health departments. But 78 percent of the data were missing details on race and ethnicity as of April 15, the report said.

The study — performed by a dozen scientists and researchers from six organizations and universities, including Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center — is one of the first to capture the impact on African American populations nationally. The scientists investigated data in counties with higher and lower proportions of black people.

“In small metro areas as well as rural areas, we’re seeing disproportionately higher Covid-19 deaths taking place in primarily black counties,” said Gregorio Millett, a lead investigator on the study and amFar vice president.

Though the study is currently under review by a medical journal, the scientists felt an urgency to release their findings Tuesday in the hope that more complete data could influence policy decisions by state and federal governments. The findings back up trends in states such as Wisconsin and Louisiana, which have seen African-Americans hit harder by the coronavirus compared to white residents.

The study also found that the disproportionately black counties ravaged by coronavirus cases and deaths showed high levels of underlying conditions like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. [Continue reading…]

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