Why is Coronavirus Hitting People of Color So Hard?

#InThisTogether is the new coronavirus mantra. But at the same time, hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise and black people are dying from COVID-related causes at alarming rates. We talked to comedian and CNN show host W. Kamau Bell to ask him if we're really "all in this together."

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How is COVID-19 impacting black and brown communities?

The numbers are scary. According to the CDC, in the U.S., black people make up 30 percent of all COVID-19 cases, but only make up 13 percent of the total population. The Associated Press took a look at who was dying, and they found similar numbers: one-third of COVID-related deaths were black people. In New York City, where the virus has hit the hardest, African Americans and Latinos are dying up to twice as much as white and Asian people.

Why is COVID-19 hitting black and brown communities so hard?

A lot of it comes down to structural racism. That’s when a society is designed in a way that reinforces and perpetuates discrimination against certain races. In the U.S., that means black and brown people. They typically have more preexisting health conditions, have less access to quality healthcare, and can live in communities with limited access to grocery stores with high-quality, healthy food. And many of the frontline workers -- grocery store clerks, bus drivers, food delivery people -- are black and brown, too. All together, that puts them at a greater risk of catching the coronavirus and dying from it.

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RESOURCES

New CDC data shows Covid-19 is affecting African Americans at exceptionally high rates (Vox)

Racial toll of virus grows even starker as more data emerges (Associated Press) 

Blacks make up as many as 30% of COVID-19 cases, per early CDC figures (ABC News) 

Why black Americans are at higher risk for coronavirus (CNN) 

Stop Blaming Black People for Dying of the Coronavirus (The Atlantic) 

Racial bias in pain assessment (PNAS) 

FBI warns of potential surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans amid coronavirus (ABC News)

How the coronavirus is surfacing America’s deep-seated anti-Asian biases (Vox)