Trump, Dr. Fauci acknowledge coronavirus will disproportionately effect African-Americans

Official numbers of cases by race not released in Mass., R.I.
Alex Brandon/AP

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- President Donald Trump said the coronavirus is hitting African Americans harder, according to data on the pandemic, at an early evening briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force Thursday.

Trump said his administration is trying to address what he termed a “tremendous challenge.” He said COVID-19 has been showing up in a disproportional way in African American communities.

Speaking at the White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the medical community has known for a long time that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma hit minority populations, especially African Americans.

He said the coronavirus hits these people suffering from these underlying conditions hard and often require intubation, intensive care and sometimes death.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said it’s “very sad,” but there is not much that can be done right now except to try to give these people the best care possible.

Asked whether blacks and Latinos in were infected at a greater rate than whites in the state, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, head of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said she was still looking at data.

“Addressing equity is a key part that we need to continue to follow, even during a pandemic,” Alexander-Scott said.

She said the department would consider releasing more information on the breakdown of race and ethnicity among the infected in the days to come.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which releases a daily data set of those currently infected, provides detailed information on age range, gender, and county where the infected live.

It has not yet provided information on on COVID-19 infections by race or ethnicity.

According to a Boston Globe article, the virus has disproportionately effected black and Latino residents of the greater Boston area.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 This article makes use of reporting from the Associated Press © The Associated Press 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Rhode Island, US & World News