COVID-19: Why are black Americans dying disproportionately?


A woman holds a child as she walks past people waiting in line to receive testing during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 7, 2020. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Joshua Lott)

GUEST: Joseph P. Williams, Senior Editor at U.S. News World Report.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many inequities in U.S. healthcare – not the least of which is racial.

According to data released in the last week, an estimated 70% of reported COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana and Chicago were among African Americans – who only count for about 30 percent of the population.

In New York City – still a hot zone for the outbreak – the death rate among Hispanics and African Americans is around twice that of its white citizens.

As the U.S. continues to struggle against the deadly virus – what are the factors leading to these disturbing numbers? Are they biologic? Cultural? Economic?

And what does government – and society as whole – need to do to protect the lives of ALL of its citizens?

With us to talk about the racial health disparities in U.S., is Joseph P. Williams. He’s a Senior Editor at U.S. News World Report and writes for their Healthiest Communities section. His April 7 article is called How Black People Are Disproportionately Getting and Dying From COVID-19.