Gov’t Called to Release Data on Racial Makeup of COVID-19 Deaths as Black People Suffer Greatest Impact

HeadlineApr 07, 2020

The Trump administration and local governments are facing calls to release more detailed information on the racial makeup of who is dying from the pandemic. Initial evidence shows African Americans have been particularly hard hit. In Louisiana, where the death toll has topped 500, Governor John Bel Edwards says 70% of the victims have been African-American, even though the state is less than a third black.

Gov. John Bel Edwards: “Disturbingly, this information is going to show you that slightly more than 70% of all the deaths in Louisiana are of African Americans, almost — I’m sorry, slightly more than 70%. And so, that deserves more attention, and we’re going to have to dig into that and see what we can do.”

In Chicago, African Americans have made up over 70% of the COVID-19 deaths in the city despite comprising just 30% of the city’s population. On Monday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law joined with hundreds of doctors urging the Department of Health and Human Services to release race and ethnicity breakdowns of COVID fatalities.

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