Three surveys are done by COVID Impact to determine if black Americans were more likely than white Americans to have a family member or close friend die from COVID-19 or a respiratory illness since the start of the pandemic. It revealed that 1 in 10 black Americans know someone or is related to someone who died of the coronavirus.
- On April 25, 2020, NBC News reported a black woman in Detroit who with only two years before she could retire from a Detroit hospital as a phlebotomist died April 17 from the coronavirus after being refused the COVID-19 test 4 times.
- CBS News on April 22, 2020, reported a black man in Detroit died from the coronavirus after allegedly being turned away for COVID-19 test 3 times.
- March 25, 2020, New York Post reported that a black woman, a former music teacher with underlying health conditions in Georgia, died from the coronavirus after being turned away from the hospital.
- ABC News on April 28, 2020, reported that 30-year-old black women in New York, who was a schoolteacher, died from the coronavirus after being denied COVID-19 test two times.
What do these people have in common?
- They were all black
- They all apparently had symptoms of the coronavirus
- They all died between March and April 2020 of the coronavirus
- They were denied treatment and testing for COVID 19
How many more have had similar experiences?
The three surveys done by COVID Impact revealed that eleven percent of African Americans reported they knew of or had a family member die from the coronavirus, as opposed to 5% of Americans overall and 4% of white Americans (AP News).
Is this to say Black American are more susceptible to getting the virus? No, not necessarily, but what it does say is that if we contract the virus, we are more likely to die from it!
According to Dr. Patricia Harris, former American Medical Association president and first African-American woman president of the AMA, here are some of the reasons why.
- Racial bias at the physician and institutional level
- Physicians ignoring or neglecting to meet the needs of black patients
- Physicians holding on to the myth that ‘blacks did not feel pain in the same way as whites’ (cited by AP News),
- Underlining preexisting health conditions