CORONAVIRUS deaths are disproportionately high among New York’s African-American and Hispanic communities, prompting Governor Andrew Cuomo to question why.
Residents from the two communities in New York City are dying at twice the rate of white or Asian residents, according to preliminary data released by officials on Wednesday.
Latinos have been hardest hit. The death rate stands at 22.8 per 100,000 residents. For African-Americans it is 19.8 per 100,000.
For the city’s white population the rate is 10.2 and for Asians 8.4.
“We’re seeing this around the county,” Cuomo commented.
Certainly statistics released by Los Angeles on Covid-19 fatalities reveal a similar picture of disparity based on ethnic group, while in Chicago 70 per cent of deaths caused by the virus have been black residents when they represent less than one in three of the city’s inhabitants.
Commenting at his daily coronavirus update press briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo said the state would be carrying out more testing in minority communities, not only to identify people with Covid-19, but to try and establish the reasons behind the higher rates of infection in minority communities and certain districts.
“It always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price. Why is that?”, he asked.
“Let’s find out. Let’s do the research and let’s find out why.”
The governor also revealed that New York, the US’s coronavirus epicentre, had recorded a new record high number of deaths in a day on Tuesday. Another 779 lost their lives to the illness, putting the death toll at 6,268.
Despite the grim statistics, Cuomo also made the point that the average number of hospital admissions has been going down in recent days.
He said he believed that social distancing and restrictions are “making the difference” in the battle against the pandemic and that the state is “flattening the curve”, but stressed, “that curve is purely a function from what we are doing day in and day out.”
“It’s not a time to get complacent”, he cautioned.