COVID-19 and the Black Community: Why are we dying?

HOUSTON – COVID-19. Coronavirus. Those two scary words have been in the headlines of every major and minor media outlet, and have landed nearly a million Americans in the Intensive Care Unit in hospitals across the nation, with sadly, not everyone returning home. What’s even more alarming, is data released showing that Black Americans are dying from the novel Coronavirus at disproportionately high rates.

But why?

“Health disparities have always existed for the African American community,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a recent White House press briefing. “Here again with the crisis, how it’s shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is because, yet again, when you have a situation like the coronavirus, they are suffering disproportionately.”

Fauci also noted the health issues that are hampering African Americans.

“The diabetes, hypertension, the obesity, the asthma — those are the kinds of things that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate.”

Another obvious issue tied to health issues is lack of health coverage. Data shows 11% of Blacks are uninsured, against the national rate of 7% in 2017. Some Blacks don’t know they have these underlying issues because, with less access the health insurance, some conditions remain undiagnosed until it’s too late.

Employment is also a key factor.

Many blacks hold service jobs, such as grocery clerks, fast food employees, city workers and even bus drivers. Those jobs don’t provide the luxury of working from home, in alignment with the “social distancing” recommendations. These workers are put directly in the line of fire.

Walmart made headlines after two of its employees from the same store died from related COVID-19 exposure, and some workers were crying out on social media, saying they felt pressured to report to work, and not allowed to wear masks.

Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove died from Coronavirus just one week after releasing a video– which went viral — voicing concerns over a coughing passenger getting on the bus.
“For us to get through this and get over this, y’all need to take this seriously,” he said on the video. “There’s folks dying out here.”

Where a person lives is just as much of a concern as health care.

According to Pew Research, Black and Latino families live in crowded multigenerational homes at much higher rates (26% and 27%, respectively) than white families (16%). More than 60 million Americans live in multigenerational homes, where young asymptomatic people might put their older relatives at risk.

In addition, Black and Latino homes are more likely to be in communities with worse air quality, according to the American Lung Association, driving up rates of asthma, another risk factor for severe cases of COVID-19. A recently released Harvard University study suggests that counties with worse air quality standard would see an increased coronavirus death rate.

Another issue is just basic distrust in the government and the health care system. Who could ever forget the Tuskegee experiment, when over the course of 40 years, the U.S. Public Health Service allowed syphilis to go untreated in hundreds of African American men in order to chronicle the progression of the disease?

But despite all these concerns, health experts, elected officials and even celebrities are encouraging everyone to take this pandemic seriously and do all they can to remain healthy.

“I’m here today to tell all minorities, this virus, you can get it and you can die from it so make sure you do everything you are supposed to do. Stay at home,” said Ervin “Magic” Johnson to CNN on the disparities of the pandemic and the Black community. “I’m hearing they’ve been having card parties around the country You can’t do that. You have to stay at home with your families and keep yourself a safe distance from everyone else. That’s very important. Get your masks, get your gloves and stay safe.”

The Lakers Legend, who became the face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – said he has been watching classic NBA games and binging out on his favorite TV shows.

Heed all health advice from the experts and social distancing is key. Whatever you can do, stay safe.


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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

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Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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