Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the novel coronavirus “the great equalizer,” because it has proven to strike anyone — young, old, ordinary people, the wealthy and the famous. Madonna made the same point in a video (even if a bit more callously from a rose petal-filled bathtub) and blasted it out to her millions of social media followers.
Although Cuomo’s point — that nobody is immune to the disease — is certainly valid, the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting African Americans.
Here’s a look at that staggering reality in numbers…
- On April 7, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported that black residents make up 37 percent of confirmed cases and 52 percent of deaths, even though they make up only 27 percent of the population.
- In Chicago, nearly 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths are African American and they are dying at a rate nearly 6 times the rate of white residents, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.
- In Milwaukee, 33 of the 45 residents who died of the novel coronavirus were black, the medical examiner reported this week.
- Michigan now has the third-highest rate of deaths from COVID-19, and 40 percent of them are African American, even though they make up only 14 percent of the population.
- Louisiana, the first southern state to categorize the novel coronavirus deaths by race, announced that 70 percent of deaths were African Americans, despite making up only 33 percent of the state’s population.
- Last week, a video revealed that 2 African American men were kicked out of an Illinois Walmart for wearing masks during the pandemic.