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The racial inequities of the coronavirus continue to reveal the stark divides in public health and access to medical care in America: On Monday, in the epicenter of the pandemic, the New York City Department of Health announced that black and Latino residents were dying of the coronavirus at “around twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age.”
The age-adjusted data released on Monday confirms a preliminary set of numbers that came out at the beginning of April, showing that black and Latino New Yorkers were around twice as likely to die from the coronavirus than white and Asian residents of the city. On April 8, the death rate for Hispanic New Yorkers was 22 people per 100,000; the rate for black New Yorkers was 20 people per 100,000; the rate for white New Yorkers was 10 per 100,000; and the rate for Asian New Yorkers was 8 people per 100,000. Following a gruesome April, the death rate released on May 18 for Latino New Yorkers was 212.79 people per 100,000; the rate for black New Yorkers was 204.79 per 100,000; the rate for white New Yorkers was 102.94 people per 100,000; and the rate for Asian New Yorkers was 94.75 people per 100,000.
The death rates are also disproportionate to the demographics of New York, where, as of early April, Latinos represented 34 percent of coronavirus victims, but 29 percent of the population. Black New Yorkers, meanwhile, represented 28 percent of deaths, but make up 22 percent of the population. “We are watching, in real time, racial disparities and the pandemic of poverty,” Michael Blake, an assemblyman representing a district in the Bronx, told the New York Times.
While New York City has an outsized number of coronavirus deaths, the pandemic’s racial disparities are consistent throughout the country. The following examples, compiled by the New York Times, show the stark divide as of April 29: “In Mississippi, black people are 38 percent of the population but 61 percent of the deaths. In Milwaukee, black people are 39 percent of the population but 71 percent of the deaths. In Chicago, black people are 30 percent of the population but 56 percent of the deaths.” And while an analysis published last week by the American Public Media Research Lab found that the high rate of Latino New Yorkers is not maintained throughout the country, it did find that black Americans are dying at 2.7 times the rate of white Americans.