As the Coronavirus pandemic worsens, it has become clear that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it affects all races. However, because of several structural issues in society such as less access to healthcare, the existence of medical conditions, and their living high-density areas, Black Americans, according to a recent report, are more likely to contract the virus.
Why are Black Americans more likely to contract the Coronavirus?
According to a report on CNN, Black Americans are more likely to be infected by the coronavirus. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams also said in an interview with CBS early this week that Black Americans are more susceptible to the coronavirus.
This racial distinction is evidently seen in data showing the number of deaths caused by the virus in Black American Communities located in Louisiana, Illinois, New Jersey, and Michigan. Dr. Adams and Dr. Patrice Harris, the President of the American Medical Association, suggested that the federal government should start tracking the coronavirus by demographic groups.
"We have early evidence that we need to pay particular attention to race and ethnicity," said Dr. Harris.
According to a statement of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, on Monday, April 6, 70% of 512 coronavirus deaths were African American patients. This demographic comprises 32% of Louisiana's population.
The report of CNN also stated that 72 of the coronavirus deaths in Chicago are of Black American patients who only make up 30% of the city.
"This new data offers a deeply concerning glimpse into the spread of COVID-19 and is a stark reminder of the deep-seated issues which have long created disparate health impacts in communities across Chicago," said Chicago's Mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
Why are the reasons Black Americans more likely to contract COVID-19?
A family physician and epidemiologist, Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, said that Black Americans people have a higher risk of being infected, as well as dying from the Coronavirus because of a combination of several structural factors.
According to CNN, Black Americans are more likely to be infected because of their existing chronic diseases. The Michigan State Representative, Tyrone Carter said that people's living environment, such as the quality of their drinking water or the cleanliness of their communities and homes are closely related to these health issues.
African Americans' health insurance coverage are also lower compared to their white counterparts. This can affect the type of care they receive if they, indeed, become sick. A report of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in 2015 explained that it is important for all to have access to health care to receive proper medical attention during this pandemic.
Cities with a higher density are also more likely to be affected by the Coronavirus. According to a Pew Research analysis, Black Americans are mostly living in dense urban communities. According to the report of Van Jones on CNN, these Black Americans are more likely to live in crowded areas because of their lower incomes.