In Georgia, more than 80% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have been African-American, according to a new study.
On Wednesday, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Public Health revealed that during March in both metro Atlanta and south Georgia, of 305 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, more than 83 percent were black. Furthermore, the study found that more than one in four blacks did not have underlying health conditions prior to being infected. Sixty-one percent of patients were 65 or younger. Among those younger patients without high-risk conditions, 22.5 percent still had to be admitted to an Intensive Care Unit, 15 percent went on a ventilator, and more than 5 percent died. Overall, about 17 percent of the hospitalized patients died, although some remained in the hospital, according to the study published by the Washington Post.
“Given the overrepresentation of black patients within this hospitalized cohort, it is important for public health officials to ensure that prevention activities prioritize communities and racial/ethnic groups most affected by COVID-19,” the study says.
“We don’t think African Americans are more susceptible to getting infected,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show. However, pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, which are all prevalent amongst African-Americans, could worsen the symptoms of the coronavirus, causing concern for Birx and her group.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 25,274 COVID-19 patients in Georgia and 1,052 deaths late Wednesday morning, which is an increase of more than 460 patients and 17 deaths in an overnight period.
The situation in other cities such as Chicago are just as dire, with the Chicago Department of Public Health reporting 51.8 percent of coronavirus cases are African-Americans, with nearly 70 percent of deaths from the virus also being African Americans.
“Those numbers take your breath away,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week.