Illustration for article titled Over 20,000 Black People Have Died From COVID-19 Nationwide

New figures released by an independent research organization reveal that more than 20,000 black Americans have died from the COVID-19 disease, confirming indications that African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus.

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The non-partisan APM Research Lab published the findings earlier this week in a report that breaks down coronavirus deaths in the U.S. up to May 19 by race and ethnicity.

According to the report, black people are dying at a higher rate than any other demographic from the disease that has killed more than 90,000 people across the country:

The latest overall COVID-19 mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.4 times as high as the rate for Whites and 2.2 times as high as the rate for Asians and Latinos;

  • 1 in 2,000 Black Americans has died (or 50.3 per 100,000)
  • 1 in 4,300 Asian and Latino Americans has died (or 22.7 and 22.9, respectively, per 100,000)
  • 1 in 4,700 White Americans has died (or 20.7 per 100,000)

The widest racial disparity is in Kansas, where the report found black residents are 7 times more likely to die from coronavirus than white residents.

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The researchers behind the new report say they were surprised it was left up to them to put to break down the nationwide mortality rate by race.

From The Guardian:

Gathering data on the racial gulf in deaths has itself been hampered by an absence of federal action, compounded by slow and in some cases non-existent reporting by many states. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only produced its first set of death statistics by race this week, despite mounting calls for basic information.

In the absence of government data, APM Research Lab has stepped into the breach. It now gathers statistics from 40 states, covering almost 90% of the total of 92,128 deaths in the US recorded by Johns Hopkins.

Andi Egbert, senior researcher at APM Research Lab, said she was astonished that it was left to an independent organization to produce nationwide statistics that should be coming from the federal government. “I won’t speculate about motive, but I can’t believe in a modern economy that we don’t have a mandated, uniform way of reporting the data across states. We are in the midst of this tremendous crisis, and data is the best way of knowing who is suffering and how.”

Given that black people are dying from coronavirus more than any other race, the new figures raise the question: why is the federal government holding back data that would illustrate the ongoing decimation of America’s black population from COVID-19 via structural racism, while at the same time eagerly moving forward with opening up the country?

Writer, speaker, finesser, and a fly dresser. Jamaican currently chilling in Chicago.

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