Coronavirus is killing Black Americans at a much higher rate

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As the novel coronavirus tightens its grip across the U.S., it is cutting a particularly devastating swath through an already vulnerable population — Black Americans.

Democratic lawmakers and community leaders in cities hard-hit by the pandemic have been sounding the alarm over what they see as a disturbing trend of the virus killing African-Americans at a higher rate, along with a lack of overall information about the race of victims as the nation’s death toll mounts.

Among the cities where Black residents have been hard-hit: New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago and Milwaukee.

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“Everywhere we look, the coronavirus is devastating our communities,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.

Of the victims whose demographic data was publicly shared by officials — nearly 3,300 of the nation’s 13,000 deaths thus far — about 42 per cent were Black, according to an Associated Press analysis. African-Americans account for roughly 21 per cent of the total population in the areas covered by the analysis.

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The AP’s analysis is one of the first attempts to examine the racial disparities of COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide.

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