States Hide COVID-19 Risk Details

States Hide COVID-19 Risk Details

( – COVID-19 is causing devastation for many Americans. However, some demographics have it worse than others. According to the data we know about, minorities are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, with African-Americans being the most severely affected.

Again, this is according to what we know. There’s an incomplete data set to work with, and some states haven’t released the information yet.

The Missing Pieces

According to ABC News, Nebraska, Nevada, and North Dakota haven’t yet released their demographic breakdowns of coronavirus cases. Others have withheld information regarding Latino communities. Even states that have released this data are only giving part of the story.

According to the CDC earlier in April, over half of the total cases reported to the government were missing racial and ethnic information.

It’s unclear how much of the missing demographic information is intentionally being held back, a result of negligence, or simply that some states are stretched thin. In the case of North Dakota, it seems to be the latter. The North Dakota Department of Health stated that racial data wasn’t immediately included because there have been fewer requests for the info and it’s still working through the more demanded info.

The Damage

COVID-19 death rates are higher among populations with underlying health conditions. For that reason, minorities are at the same risk as immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

Native Americans have diabetes rates three times higher than non-Hispanic white populations. African-Americans also have higher rates of underlying health conditions including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma.

In Chicago, African-Americans account for 30% of the population and for 72% of COVID-19 deaths. That isn’t an isolated trend. A very similar population-to-death rate is seen in Milwaukee (<33% population and 70% of deaths) and Louisiana (32% population and 70% of deaths). Only 40% of racial data is available from Georgia, but African-Americans make up 32% of the state’s population while accounting for over half of the coronavirus cases.

Although more complete information is needed to paint a full picture, what we do know is worrisome. For now, it looks like the minority communities need to take extra precautions as this pandemic plays out.

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