Why exactly are blacks suffering and dying at greater rates from COVID-19? Inquiring minds and black bodies need answers. Or do we already know the answers? Critical health issues in black communities have long been acknowledged as an on-going crisis. This pandemic puts black health disparities front and center resulting with dead bodies stacking up.
There is a saying—“When America catches a cold, Black people get the flu.” Well, in 2020, when America catches coronavirus, Black people die. Blacks in about every state with racial data available have higher contraction rates and higher death rates of COVID-19.
Let’s tune in to the Diddy’s “Black America & Coronavirus” Town Hall With Angela Rye, Killer Mike, Yara Shahidi And More.
Some speculate that pre-existing health conditions are contributing to racial disparities in COVID-19. During a White House coronavirus task force briefing, Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, stated, “Health disparities have always existed for the African American community… [coronavirus is] shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is because, yet again, when you have a situation like the coronavirus, they are suffering disproportionately. We will get over coronavirus, but there will still be health disparities which we really do need to address in the African American community.”
Blacks, relative to Whites, are more likely to live in neighborhoods with a lack of healthy food options, green spaces, recreational facilities, lighting, and safety. These subpar neighborhoods are rooted in the historical legacy of redlining. Additionally, Blacks are more likely to live in densely populated areas, further heightening their potential contact with other people. They represent about one-quarter of all public transit users. Blacks are also less likely to have equitable healthcare access—meaning hospitals are farther away and pharmacies are subpar, leading to more days waiting for urgent prescriptions. So, health problems in the Black community manifest not because Blacks do not take care of themselves but because healthcare resources are criminally inadequate in their neighborhoods.
As each new day of this pandemic unfolds and magnifies what black people already know and live each day in America, InnerKwest™ will shed light on the issue that matter to African-Americans and those that celebrate the culture. It is time for the U.S. to implement legislation to close the racial gap in health disparities.