Add Your Name to Demand More Investigation and Publicity Around COVID-19 Health Disparities
During a recent meeting of the Global Healthy Living Foundation COVID–19 Patient Leadership Council, high-risk patient leaders across autoimmune, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other chronic disease communities expressed concerns about the growing health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, African-Americans are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
These concerns were not limited to our Patient Council. More experts and researchers have been reinforcing this important issue. For example:
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported preliminary data that suggest black Americans are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. African-Americans constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population but make up 33 percent of patients hospitalized. By contrast, the report found that white Americans made up 45 percent of hospitalizations, though they comprise 76 percent of the population.
- In New York City, where COVID-19 has hit the hardest in the United States, data provided by the city indicates that the Hispanic population accounts for 34 percent of the city’s virus death toll, although they are only 29 percent of the population. The African American population accounts for 28 percent of the city’s death toll but are only 22 percent of the population.
- Anthony Fauci, MD, director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the public health face of the coronavirus pandemic, said recently that people of color “do not seem more likely to be infected by coronavirus” but may be more likely to experience coronavirus complications, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and death because of underlying health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma.
Though this data is limited and preliminary, it is supported by hundreds of anecdotal stories we are hearing from our patient community. But because of a lack of testing, along with a lack of local data collection by race, we do not have a true sense of the impact on people of color.
It is critical to understand how and why COVID-19 is hitting communities of color harder than white communities. Add your name to support more government investigation and media publicity around this important issue.
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