African Americans are bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Many of the reasons for this have to do with pre-existing health conditions and include other factors like lower rates of health insurance, less access to health care as well as implicit bias on behalf of medical practitioners. This has been compounded with the fact that less doctors are recommending Black Americans with symptoms to get tested when compared to their white counterparts. For example: in Michigan, African Americans account for 41% of COVID-19 deaths while they represent only 14% of the population.
NPR reported: “Asked about the reports of health disparities and racial divide at a White House coronavirus task force briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health said that African Americans do not seem more likely to be infected by coronavirus. But he added that “underlying medical conditions, [including] diabetes, hypertension, obesity, [and] asthma” might make it more likely that African Americans are admitted to the ICU or die from the disease. “We really do need to address” the health disparities that exist in the U.S., Fauci said. “These findings underscore the importance of preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain),” the authors of the report write, “to protect older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions, as well as the general public.”
Trevor Noah took a closer look at how and why the U.S.’s coronavirus outbreak is disproportionately hurting the black community on the latest Daily Show.