As the coronavirus pandemic continues to make its way through U.S. communities, one fact is emerging from the data. Black people are contracting and dying from the virus at higher rates than any other ethnic group. In reports all over the country, although African Americans account for a smaller percentage of the population, they make up the majority of deaths caused by coronavirus.
This holds true in Chicago, where new data released Saturday showed that Blacks, who make up 29 percent of the population, account for 70 percent of people who have died from COVID-19 in the city. Low-income neighborhoods with big immigrant populations have the highest number of infections in New York. In Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County, 81 percent of people killed by the virus have been Black, but make up just 26 percent of the county’s population. Detroit, Michigan is seeing a large number of coronavirus deaths. Forty percent of those killed by coronavirus in Michigan have been Black.
Even more disturbing for those who can get to a hospital, many aren’t getting treatment. In a National Public Radio report, one study of several states found that doctors may be less likely to refer Blacks for testing, even when displaying symptoms like fever, coughing, and trouble breathing. And in some low-income neighborhoods, testing centers are struggling to acquire equipment and protective gear to administer tests.
According to ProPublica, the CDC normally tracks information about age and race when monitoring an outbreak, as well as the location of people affected. So far during this pandemic, the agency has failed to release data about race.
Business & Economy
Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who called the number of jobless claims “absolutely shocking”, believes that unemployment may hit depression levels.
In an NBC interview, Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, encouraged the public to practice social distancing and warn not doing so can result in another infection peak in a few weeks. He also added that “anyone who needs a test can get a test this week.”
The Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments scheduled for April, it announced Friday, as states and the federal government scramble to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Some U.S. hospitals, facing huge revenue losses due to the pandemic, are furloughing and cutting salaries of some staff. In Florida, at Miami-Dade County’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, executives say they’re taking pay cuts, and other employees are being asked to go on temporary furloughs due to the financial strain.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reports that deaths in his state have been “effectively flat for two days,” suggesting a “possible flattening of the curve.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told reporters that the state is within days of running out of personal protective equipment in some hospitals.
Police in Carrollton, Texas are looking for an 18-year-old girl who claims to have the coronavirus and is “willfully spreading” it. In a Snapchat video, Lorraine Maradiaga is seen at a local Walmart threatening to infect shoppers.
In Georgia, leaders in beach communities who closed the popular gathering places two weeks ago, are criticizing Governor Brian Kemp for his decision to reopen beaches amid the pandemic. Kemp’s executive order allows exercise, with social distancing, on the beaches.
CVS will open two more drive-through coronavirus testing locations in Georgia and Rhode Island. This comes after the Trump administration announced a public-private partnership between the government and major retailers including CVS, Target, Walmart and Walgreens on March 13. Five locations from all of these retailers currently offer drive-thru testing. They are not open to the general public.
Wells Fargo announced that it will no longer accept new loan applications under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which launched last week as part of Washington’s $2.2 trillion economic relief package.
According to reporting by Johns Hopkins University, there are almost 360,000 coronavirus cases and almost 11,000 deaths in the U.S.