As researchers scramble to get a firmer handle on the coronavirus toll, one aspect of the illness is coming into focus: It's hitting black communities around the nation disproportionately hard. A stew of medical and sociological factors appears to be at play, and there's a growing call for the feds to mandate the collection and release of data on the disease along racial lines. Coverage:
- The pattern: It's seen in places such as Milwaukee, where black residents make up 73% of coronavirus deaths in the surrounding county but only 28% of the population, reports the Washington Post. Nearly twice as many black residents have tested positive as white people there, notes the New York Times. Similar disparities are seen in New Orleans, Detroit, North and South Carolina, Las Vegas, Chicago—pretty much everywhere. In Chicago, African-Americans account for less than a third of the population but 72% of deaths. "Those numbers take your breath away," says Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. "This is a call-to-action moment for all of us."