the realities of coronavirus
October 26, 2020

Black Americans have been overwhelmingly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. That's even more true for Black health care workers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Monday revealing about one in every 16 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 have been health care personnel. Even though just 10 percent of all American nurses and 5 percent of doctors are Black, more than half of those hospitalized health care workers have been Black.

The CDC data also reveals that of those health care workers who were hospitalized coronavirus, more than a third were nurses. Around three quarters of those hospitalized were under age 57, calling into question claims that COVID-19 is harmless for younger people.

Black Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, are 4.7 times more likely than whites to be hospitalized with COVID-19, CDC data from August showed. They're also twice as likely to die of the virus than white Americans, and have the highest chance of any racial or ethnic group of dying of the coronavirus. That's likely due to health care and economic inequities that have hurt Black Americans for decades. Kathryn Krawczyk

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