The Numbers: COVID-19 Is Harming and Killing African Americans at an Alarming Rate

No, COVID-19 is not an "equalizer."
By Allen McDuffee
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Photo credit: White House

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.

The Rundown

1. Mitch McConnell’s Trump Calculation 

Jane Mayer at The New Yorker takes a deep dive on the risk of McConnell’s refusal to restrain the chief executive of the United States. 

2. 500,000+ Zoom Accounts Are For Sale on the Dark Web

Credentials of individuals and high-profile companies like Chase have been swept up, marking a new headache for the videoconferencing giant.

3. Bernie Sanders Endorses Joe Biden

Sanders told Biden, “We need you in the White House,” during a teleconference. But how many of his supporters heard him?

4. Paul Manafort Is Seeking Prison Release Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Trump’s former campaign manager claims he is “high risk.” 

5. Joe Biden Could Get a Critical Boost From a Black VP Pick

New polling suggests Biden could garner more enthusiasm among black voters in battleground states by picking a black woman.

6. Sanofi and GSK Partner on COVID-19 Vaccine

The Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline vaccine will enter clinical trials later in 2020, but still won’t be available until late 2021.