- A new study found that Black women are three times likelier than white men to die from COVID-19.
- The findings underscore systemic inequalities that make people of color more vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Data released last year showed Black people were also twice as likely as white people to contract the virus.
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New research suggests Black women are dying from the coronavirus at higher rates than any other demographic in the US, except Black men.
A team of university researchers from schools all around the country published an analysis earlier this week that found Black women are more than three times likelier to die from COVID-19 than white men.
The study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, examined mortality patterns in Georgia and Michigan. Researchers sorted their findings by race and gender.
“The deaths we see in the pandemic reflect pre-existing structural inequities; after the pandemic is gone, those will still be there,” Heather Shattuck-Heidorn, assistant professor of gender and women studies at the University of Maine and the study’s senior author, said in an interview on CBS MoneyWatch.
“Whatever is going on is probably not linked to the X chromosome or the Y chromosome,” Shattuck-Heidorn added.
The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly hard on Black people, studies show.
The findings underscore systemic inequalities that make people of color more vulnerable to COVID-19 and more likely to experience serious illness if they do get sick.
“The clear evidence of increased risk of infection amongst ethnic minority groups is of urgent public health importance,” Dr. Shirley Sze, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) academic clinical lecturer and a lead author of the paper, said.
“We must work to minimize exposure to the virus in these at-risk groups by facilitating their timely access to healthcare resources and target the social and structural disparities that contribute to health inequalities,” Sze continued.
And unemployment data consistently shows that Black women are among the hardest hit by the economic uncertainties brought on by the pandemic.
According to data from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit, Lean In, a survey from last year of more than 2,600 people found that Black women are twice as likely as white men to say that they’d either been laid off, furloughed, or had their hours or pay reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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