Efforts To Address Hardest Hit Black, Latino Communities Hamstrung By Generations Of Distrust In Health System

Data show that black Americans are infected and dying in disproportionate numbers. But for a community that has been mistreated and exploited by the health system for centuries, it can be difficult to then turn to those very institutions for help. Advocates say directed communication is key to helping the vulnerable group.

‘I’m Not Going To Go There And Die’

Generations of distrust in the health care system have accumulated particularly among African Americans but also Latinos, she said — a long-standing issue based on a history of medical abuses dating back to slavery that’s now burst to the fore, with dangerous consequences. One important way to allay such fears is through communication about the coronavirus that is tailored to minority and non-English speaking populations and delivered by credible messengers. With the pandemic disproportionately ravaging black and Hispanic populations, the need has become acute, lawmakers and public health experts are warning. (Barron-Lopez, 4/21)

Black Doctors Blast ‘Woefully Anemic’ Data On Minority Coronavirus Cases

Preliminary data shows that minority patients are disproportionately at risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid-19. But health professionals say the numbers that have been released aren’t telling the whole story. Gross underreporting of tests, hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid-19 has plagued racial and ethnic data at the state and federal levels. Nearly half of all states have not included any data on the race or ethnicity of those affected by the coronavirus. Figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday list the race and ethnicity of 75 percent of all cases as unspecified. None of the race and ethnicity statistics for deaths have been reported nationally. (King, 4/20)

Fox News:
Michigan Governor Whitmer Sets Up Coronavirus Racial Disparity Task Force 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered on Monday the creation of a task force to investigate why the novel coronavirus has disproportionately affected the state’s African-American community.“ The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color throughout our state,” Whitmer, a Democrat, said in her executive order. “For example, while African Americans represent 13.6 percent of our state’s population, they represent a staggering 40 percent of the deaths from COVID-19.” (O’Reilly, 4/20)

White House: Data On COVID-19 And Race Still Weeks Away

The Trump administration is having to backtrack on when it can provide data on the race of COVID-19 patients. Right now, there’s no clear national picture of how the coronavirus is affecting people of different races. Some states are releasing this information, and there’s some data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What little data there are is concerning. For one, African Americans represent a third of all deaths from COVID-19, even though they represent only 13% of the national population. (Simmons-Duffin, 4/20)

Asian American Doctor On Experiencing Racism During The Coronavirus Pandemic, Feeling ‘Powerless’ In Helping Patients 

Discrimination against Asian Americans has surged in the United States. Since mid-March, the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council says they’ve received more than 1,100 reports of coronavirus discrimination. While President Trump and allies have called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” reports have recently surfaced regarding a key Republican strategy come November: Point the finger at China for the health care emergency unfolding in the U.S. (Hobson and McMahon, 4/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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