DALLAS - African Americans are dying at a disproportionate rate from the coronavirus.
It’s a disturbing trend that is really pronounced when you look at the data from big cities around the country.
At this point, only a handful of states are compiling and releasing information about the racial background of those who are contracting and dying from COVID-19.
That will likely change soon to address concerns about the care provided for the nation’s most vulnerable populations.
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is among those sounding the alarm about the fatality rates for African Americans who contract the virus.
For example, in Louisiana which is one of the hardest-hit states, 70% of the COVID-19 deaths have been African Americans. That’s compared to 29% who are white. Blacks make up just 32% of Louisiana’s population.
In Michigan, 33% of that state’s COVID-19 cases are African American and 41% of the deaths. But blacks make up just 14% of that state’s population.
“So when all this is over and as we’ve said, it will end. We will get over coronavirus. But there will still be health disparities which we will really need to address in the African American communities,” Dr. Fauci said.
Dallas Councilman Adam Bazaldua represents parts of southern and eastern Dallas. He said the numbers for Dallas County show that 45% of the COVID-19 patients are minorities, 20% are white and in 35% of the cases race was not reported.
“We must add race for data collected at testing sites and take proactive measures to help what data shows to be our most vulnerable population,” he said.
There are similar calls for race data on the national level. According to USA Today, the CDC is compiling date from states and will release information later this week on COVID-19 hospitalizations that includes numbers by race and ethnicity.