People who are not familiar with the world of medical research are prone to envision studies taking place in laboratories where physicians look through microscopes and measure substances using Beaker conical flasks. The reality of most medical research studies, particularly those related to epidemiology and public health, is that they involve statistical observations. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, we still have a lot to learn about the novel coronavirus and how it can be managed; however, many research studies have been completed thus far, and some of them indicate that African-Americans have been particularly impacted.
Even though SARS-CoV-2 is a micro pathogen incapable of targeting ethnic groups, the mortality rate among African-Americans is disproportionately higher compared to other major groups in the United States. In mid-May, research compiled by American Public Media showed a coronavirus death rate of 50.3 per 100,000 African-Americans; this rate is 22.7 for Asian-Americans and 22.9 for the Hispanic population. In states such as Kansas, COVID-19 mortality among African-Americans is seven times higher compared to other ethnic groups.
It should be noted that physiological and genetic research studies have determined a couple of COVID-19 vulnerabilities among individuals of certain blood types and a particular chromosomal trait, but these susceptibilities are not related to people of African descent; they are globally distributed at random.
The APM demographics study shows that African Americans have died at a rate three times higher than the rest of the major ethnic categories of the U.S. To a certain extent, this is a problem similar to the disparately high mortality rates among senior citizens in Italy and Spain, two countries that suffered a deadly contagion wave at an early stage of the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been slow to conduct demographic studies, which is why APM decided to comb through available statistics, which do not include 10 states.
In large metropolitan regions such as New York City, more meticulous research indicates that African-American and Latino communities in low-income districts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs have been affected the most. Risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell conditions, tobacco use, and obesity have been taken into account when crunching the data; in fact, some White House officials have focused on these factors, but public health experts have cited previous research that shows bias and socioeconomic risks having a greater impact on coronavirus mortality rates.
The reality for many African-Americans in the U.S. today is that they are more likely to have limited access to SARS-COV-2 testing. Unfortunately, this disadvantage is tied to low-income communities that lack access to quality healthcare services. The CDC has acknowledged prior research studies that highlight racial inequality in terms of healthcare, and it has called on providers of medical services to not give into bias when treating any patients during this pandemic; nonetheless, Americans are still waiting for CDC research to be published with regard to this terrible disparity, and they will want to know how it should be addressed on a national level.