A new report through the Brookings Institute found that COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death for Black Americans.
A former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees with that.
The Brookings report looks deeper at disparities. It says the mortality rate for Black Americans is more than twice that for Asian or white Americans.
“So, only cancer and heart disease will kill more African Americans this year,” said Trevon Logan, a professor of economics at The Ohio State University. “So, things like stroke, diabetes, all of those are taking a back seat to the coronavirus.”
Logan is one of the authors of the report, which finds the impact of the pandemic has disproportionately hit Black Americans in terms of health and money.
Some of the contributing problems are a lack of access to care, more dense housing making it easier to be exposed to the virus, African Americans are more likely to be front line workers, and they’re more likely to be in low-wage jobs that have led to high levels of unemployment.
“We were devasted in the last great recession and were only beginning to come out of that tunnel, that dark tunnel, in the last year,” said Logan. “So, these setbacks that are experienced by the African American community both in terms of health and economically are simply a different, or a magnitude that they are for the population overall.”
Logan says the pandemic has exposed the lack of a safety net to get us through times of crisis. He says there needs to be policies to help all who are unemployed, not just race specific.