Barack Obama Responds To Racial Disparity Of COVID-19 Diagnosis And Deaths

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the stage as he attends an Obama Foundation event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 December 2019. Obama and his wife Michelle are in Kuala Lumpur for the inaugural Leaders: Asia-Pacific conference, focused on promoting women's education in the region.  (Photo by Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Barack Obama Responds To Racial Disparity Of COVID-19 Diagnosis And Deaths

He shared what the data is showing.

Published April 13th

Written by Paul Meara

With more and more data showing the disproportionate way the Black community is being affected by the coronavirus, the underlying systemic issues are becoming impossible to ignore. Even the White House had to acknowledge that Covid-19 is killing Black people at an alarming rate compared to whites. The question remains as to what the Trump Administration will do about it.

Now, President Barack Obama is using his influence to make sure that the specific challenges Black communities are facing, and will continue to face, is not ignored. The former POTUS, who warned of the need to prepare for an oncoming pandemic back in 2014, tweeted on Monday (April 13) that “we can't deny that racial and socioeconomic factors are playing a role in who is being hit the hardest by the virus.” He added, “It's a reminder for our policymakers to keep our most vulnerable communities at the forefront when making decisions.”

RELATED: Donald Trump Admits COVID-19 Is Disproportionately Affecting Blacks, But Doesn’t Offer Specific Solutions

Obama also shared a link to an article from The Atlantic, which outlines, with numbers, how much more likely Black people are susceptible to catching COVID-19. In the article, the author Ibram X. Kendi (director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University), compiles data from major cities in Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin, among others that shows the disproportionate rates African Americans both contract the disease and die from it.

Specifically regarding Michigan, the article points out that “Black Americans comprise 14.1 percent of the state population, but an ungodly 40 percent of coronavirus deaths. In Washtenaw County, home to Ann Arbor, 48 percent of residents hospitalized with the coronavirus are black, though black people make up only 11 percent of the county.”

See Barack Obama’s tweet, below:

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images


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