““There is no question that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a more significant effect on marginalized and poorer communities, particularly communities of color,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, tells Metro Times. “While COVID-19 can infect anyone regardless of race or class, African Americans have historically been more likely to have higher rates of chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in the United States. We know that people with these underlying medical conditions are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.”
Decades of economic inequality and systemic racism in Michigan have trapped a disproportionate number of Black people in poverty. And studies show that cities with concentrations of impoverished people are susceptible to higher infection and fatality rates. Many lower-income people rely on public transit, live in large apartment buildings, and work at jobs without paid sick days. At service industry jobs, employees often can’t work remotely and are in close contact with the public.
Another symptom of poverty is chronic illnesses due to unequal access to medical care.”
Black people make up 12% of Michigan’s population — and at least 40% of its coronavirus deaths
The coronavirus is infecting and killing an alarming proportion of Black residents in Michigan. Black people make up 12% of Michigan’s population. But of the…