According to Johns Hopkins’ Medicine website there is a disproportionate rate of illness, and death in the black community from COVID-19. The report points out in Chicago where African-Americans comprise one third of the city’s population they account for half of those who have tested positive for coronavirus and almost 75% of the COVID-19 deaths. In another report Johns Hopkins says in Milwaukee, African-Americans make up 70% of the deaths due to the coronavirus but just 26% of the city’s population.
While much of the focus has been on African-Americans disproportionately contracting and dying from the Covid 19 virus other minority populations are also adversely affected and that includes Hispanics and Native American communities. I have written about this issue several times over the last year noting that the differences are significant. Here is a startling statistic, one in 1,000 Black Americans has died from COVID-19 while their white counterparts is one in 2,100.
Relating to life expectancy, the CDC says the average life expectancy in the United States during the first six months of the pandemic fell to its lowest level in 15 years. Whites had a decline of less than one year. However, life expectancy for the black population declined the most in 2020 by 2.7 years to 72 years which is the lowest level since 2001. Hispanics experience a decline of 1.9 years. Prior to the pandemic the disparity between blacks and whites was narrowing and because more blacks as a percentage of their population are getting sick and dying the split is widening again.
Not all of the decline in average life expectancy is directly a result of contracting the virus. There are other Covid 19 related factors affecting longevity: drugs, depression, anxiety and increased suicides all are adding to the differential between the races.
The death rate in blacks is higher as a proportion of their population than whites. Black Americans who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have a 2.9 times higher rate than white Americans. African Americans with Covid 19 died 1.9 times more that white Americans. Looking at Hispanics the hospitalization is 3.2 times that of whites and the death rate is more than 2.3 time the number of whites. One only has to look at Chicago to get some idea of what might be happening. The US Census Bureau found that citywide vaccination rates in Chicago’s majority black or Hispanic ZIP Codes average 5% while white ZIP Codes average 13% and in four of the city’s majority white ZIP Codes exceeded 20% initial vaccination. The highest rate for any majority Black or Hispanic neighborhood was 12% but this is just in Chicago. We can find similar numbers in Washington DC, Austin, Texas and more examples across the nation.
A higher percentage of minorities are refusing to take a vaccine because of skepticism about safety and effectiveness. In January 2021, PEW research found that only 42% of black people surveyed said they would or most likely will get the vaccine shot. Skepticism about the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine as well as past unethical medical treatment of blacks creates a great deal of distrust regarding the vaccine. Many of the blacks surveyed said they might consider the vaccination when more time has passed and research is complete.
Dr. Anthony Harden, who is an adviser to the UK government, said recently that with the mutation of the virus the world may need annual COVID-19 shots. The idea that we would need an annual shot is unsettling to a lot of people regardless of color. Also, using a new protocol, mRNA, versus live or killed virus particles, as a basis of the vaccine is unsettling to some.
We hope that we will find more information as time progresses about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Black, Brown and Native American people will have to be persuaded to get the shots. No one knows how long it will take to stem the tide of the terrible price that the Black, Brown and Native American communities are paying for their skepticism. Only time will tell if the caution proved to be right but the reality is that a disproportionate share of Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans will die in the interim.
Dan Perkins is a published author of 4 novels on nuclear and biological terrorism against the United States and is a current events commentator for over 25+ news blogs. He recently has had commentaries posted on Medium, Conservative Truth, and Newsmax and Clash Daly among others. He appears on radio and TV regularly many times a month. Dan’s newest show is called “America’s Cannabis Conversation,” on the W420radionetwork.com. His latest entrance in communications is his first Podcast called “What’s on My Mind?” This can be heard on SoundCloud; just look for the name of the show or Dan Perkins. More information on Perkins can be found on his web site: danperkins.guru