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Louisiana Governor: 70 per cent of coronavirus deaths are African Americans

By Judah Ben-Hur | April 8th 2020

The United States has emerged as one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus pandemic.

As at Wednesday, April 8, the US had recorded 400, 549 cases and over 12,000 deaths since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.  

However, it is the staggering number of African American deaths that continue to raise questions.

In a televised press briefing on Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that 70 per cent of all the deaths in Louisiana are of African Americans even though they only make up 32 per cent of the population.

In Chicago, 68 per cent of the deaths were also of African American origin who only make up 30 per cent of the population in the state.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that “The issue deserves more attention and they have to dig into it to see how they can slow down the trend.”

However, according to trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Williams, it is not surprising that African Americans have suffered in the hands of the virus. “Certain races and ethnicities are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of the virus due to structural inequities that persist within our communities,” Dr. Williams said in an interview with CNN.

US President Donald Trump was left with many questions when he said in a press briefing that “we are trying to find out why it is three or four times more for the black community as opposed to other people. It doesn’t make sense.”

For Dr. Williams, it makes perfect sense as he explains that “it is the structural racism, the economic, environmental and healthcare barriers that vulnerable groups have to overcome to get healthcare.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a US surgeon General also weighed in on the matter while speaking on CNN saying that “the reason that blacks have so many more pre-existing conditions is because of structural inequality and social-economic disadvantages of living in food deserts where you can’t have healthy foods.”

Former US Vice President Joe Biden also suggested that President Trump makes it mandatory for the collection of data nationally on African Americans who are contracting the diseases and dying at a much higher rate than others.

Social media equally had its fair share of contribution with the hashtag African American having more than 59,000 tweets by mid-day today.

Bernie Sanders tweeted: “It is unacceptable that African Americans are getting sick and dying from the coronavirus at such disproportionately high rates. We must solve the horrific racial disparities in health that we have in this country.”

World Health Organization (WHO) has however ruled out any links of race and color to contracting the coronavirus.


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