As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, there have been more and more calls for data to be released detailing the racial disparity in cases and care. In New York City, that data will hopefully be released sooner rather than later.
NBC News reports that on Tuesday New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said current research will soon be released to show the disparity of the virus’ impact across racial lines. He said that while hospitals have been tracking age and gender, racial tracking has proved to be more difficult given the circumstances. De Blasio didn’t give a concrete date on when those numbers will be released.
Nationally, we’ve seen that COVID-19 has had an inordinate impact on minority and low-income communities. Early data has shown that black people are dying at higher rates from COVID-19. In Chicago, black people have made up nearly 70 percent of coronavirus deaths despite being only 29 percent of the population. In Michigan, black people have made up 40 percent of deaths while representing only 14 percent of the state’s population. Despite there clearly being a disparity, the majority of states have yet to include race as a factor in its coronavirus data.
Outside of the virus itself, the economic and educational impact has also disproportionately affected those same communities. Black and Latinx communities are losing jobs at a higher rate and students from minority and low-income homes are less likely to participate in online classes. There’s been a lot of talk about coronavirus being the great equalizer but so far the data has shown the opposite.
New York is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and as of Tuesday, there are 378,289 in the country with 138,836 in New York.
De Blasio said Tuesday that the number of people hospitalized and in need of ventilators has “improved a bit in recent days,” NBC News reports.
“It is giving us some more time, giving us the opportunity to get more ventilators in and know we can get farther into the week,” the mayor said. “We know we bought a few more days.”