Coronavirus: Statistics show virus is disproportionately affecting African-Americans

Statistics show virus is disproportionately affecting African-Americans

In Ohio and across the country, African-Americans are disproportionately being affected by COVID-19.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center shows there is greater concern over the virus in the black community.

31 percent of African-American adults said they are ‘very concerned’ about getting coronavirus and ending up in the hospital because of it.

Content Continues Below

Nationwide, the CDC says a third of the people hospitalized for coronavirus have been black - even though they only make up 13 percent of the US population.

Here in Ohio, Governor DeWine said 21 percent of the state’s cases are in African-Americans, while only thirteen-fourteen percent of Ohioans are black.

News Center 7′s John Bedell spoke with a doctor about why this is happening.

Doctor Gary LeRoy works with a lot of minority and low-income patients on Dayton’s East side.

Dr. LeRoy said it has taken a global pandemic with a virus that doesn’t discriminate to make more people realize what they’ve known in the medical community for years: that minorities are more likely to have poor health outcomes.

“And this is because of a myriad of reasons, these are individuals who, through no fault of their own, exist on the soft underbelly of our society’s economic system," explained Dr. LeRoy. "They’re more vulnerable for poor healthcare outcomes because of unemployment, educational opportunities, diabetes, hypertension and chronic diseases and such.”

Dr. LeRoy said he’s interested in what Governor DeWine’s new task force recommends. He hopes the goal should be:

“Emerging from this crisis … smarter than we were when we went into this crisis about who they need to provide these critical resources to and how we can prevent this from happening this disproportionate death rate from happening in these vulnerable populations,” said Dr. LeRoy

Governor DeWine’s new task force is called the minority health strike team.