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When Covid-19 first hit America hard last month, the narrative was that it was the great equalizer, that in such a divided nation, our shared humanity meant we would be equal in our suffering. But those of us who understand racial caste in America knew this could never be true.
While the face of coronavirus in the media has been disproportionately white, race data trickling out shows that the victims, particularly those dying from it, are disproportionately black. So much so that sources in some hospitals say every patient on a vent is black. Here's y.
In Chicago, a city where black people account for less than 30 percent of the population, 70 percent of the people who have died from Covid-19 are black.…
In Michigan, black people account for about 14 percent of the population, but are 35 percent of confirmed Covid-19 cases and 40 percent of the deaths.…
In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, black people account for 26 percent of the population, nearly half of its coronavirus cases and 81 percent of its deaths.…
We don't have race data available yet for NYC, the epicenter of the American branch of the pandemic, but based on income data, we can see that it is hitting low-income black and brown neighborhoods the hardest.…
Covid-19 attacks groups who are most vulnerable and in America, no one is more vulnerable than poor black people (and poor Native people.) A host of issues ensured black people would contract and die from coronavirus at the highest rates, including housing, employment and heath.
Black Americans are far more likely to work in service sector jobs than white Americans, meaning they were far more likely to work jobs where they come in contact with a lot of strangers and where they could not social distance and work from home.…
Black Americans are the least likely to own a car, the travel the furthest distance to get to work, and are the most likely to take public transit, again, meaning they were mostly likely to be exposed to large numbers of strangers in cramped quarters.…
Black Americans have the lowest homeownership rates, meaning that even in the places they are sheltering in place, they are coming in contact with far more people than those who live in single-family homes.
Now, even as black Americans risked higher exposure, they already disproportionately suffer the comorbidities that make Covid-19 so deadly. Black Americans are 40 % more likely to have hypertension than white, twice as likely to have diabetes, up to 3x asthma hospitilization.
Now, consider that we all thought the virus did not really kill younger people *until* it arrived in the U.S. Well, this makes sense. Black Americans health outcomes are so abysmal that younger black people are suffering from the diseases WE TYPICALLY SEE ONLY IN OLDER PEOPLE.
Now, before all the its class-not-race people jump in here, let me assure you it's both/and. Black Americans have the highest poverty rate in the nation, but most black people are not poor and now I am going to show you how these health effects transcend class.
US Census data shows the affluent black people live in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of poverty than poor white Americans.…
These neighborhoods are the most likely to be near toxic sites that cause some of the the underlying conditions that make Covid-19 so deadly.…
Black Americans are also the most likely to live in areas where they do not have easy access to the trauma centers needed to treat a deadly disease such as Covid-19.…
Now, let's talk about insurance and whether black people can get access to Covid-19 tests,or see a doctor with early symptoms. Black Americans are almost twice as likely to be uninsured as white Americans and pay a greater share of their income on premiums…
It's far worse in the S, where a majority of black pp live & where most states refused to expand Medicaid. Two of the last states to implement stay-at-home orders -- GA and FL -- have largest share of black Americans. Deadly outbreaks are happening there.…
And, we also know that black Americans, regardless of income and education, receive inferior healthcare. They received fewer therapeutic interventions, fewer procedures and poorer-quality care than white Americans.…
Black Americans are sicker than white Americans, and yet on whole, and yet we spend less on their care, so much so that to remedy the disparity we would have to spend up to 47 percent more on their care.…
Many medical providers STILL believe that there are biological differences bw black and white Americans, that black people do not feel as much pain, and so black Americans are treated differently throughout our medical system, as @lindavillarosa documented…
So, now, on top of living in neighborhoods that experience more violence, worse food options, lower paying jobs, and poor access to healthcare, black Americans are not treated equitably within the healthcare system itself.
"A study of the 171 largest U.S. cities found tht whites living in the worst conditions in urban areas – in terms of poverty rates and single-parent households – are nonetheless residing in circumstances much better than those of the average black person."…
Being black in America, a country built and maintained on a system of racial caste, kills. This virus is NOT the great equalizer, it is simply exploiting the grave inequalities that have always existed and hastening an early death that was coming for so many black folks anyway.
If it is unacceptable now, it has to be unacceptable when we conquer this virus. And I hope we as journalists, we as society, will stop putting forth notions that a force -- good or bad -- can be equal in a vastly unequal society.
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