Numbers confirm it: Hispanic, black communities hit harder by coronavirus
City to ‘double down’ on testing, equipment
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both promised action on Wednesday after data showed glaring disparities in coronavirus-linked deaths among Hispanic and African American communities in New York City.
De Blasio said that the city will double down on health measures, including “getting public hospitals everything they need.” The city also intends to start a multimillion-dollar education campaign, grassroots outreach and in-depth health advice via 311 in multiple languages.
At a press conference immediately following the mayor’s, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Department of Health to “do more tests in the minority community, now.”
City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said that 34 percent of confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 have, to date, occurred among the city’s Hispanic residents, while Hispanics make up 29 percent of all New Yorkers. In addition, 28 percent of deaths occurred among the city’s black population, who make up 22 percent of the city’s population.
Whites and Asians die proportionally less than Hispanics and blacks from the virus: 27 percent of coronavirus-linked deaths occur among white residents, though they make up 32 percent of the population, and just 7 percent occur among Asians, though they make up 14 percent of the population.
While the novel coronavirus has “hurt families in every ZIP code, there are clear disparities,” de Blasio said. “The truth is, pain and death track with other profound healthcare disparities associated with poverty.“
On Tuesday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams had called for the city to release this data. Their demand followed a statement from New York City Comptroller Comptroller Scott Stringer saying that the pandemic was hitting low-income people of color harder than affluent New Yorkers. According to Stringer, 75 percent of all frontline workers are people of color.
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