Despite only making up 32% of the population in Louisiana, African-Americans account for 70% of the total number COVID-19 related deaths in the state, according to figures released by Louisiana’s health department.
Louisiana has been particularly hard hit by the virus, with 582 coronavirus-related deaths in the state as of Tuesday. Louisiana ranks fourth among US states in the number of deaths, well ahead of much larger states including California and Texas.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump both expressed their concern on Tuesday during the White House’s coronavirus task force news briefing.
“We’re doing everything in our power to address this challenge, it’s a tremendous challenge. It’s terrible,” Trump said Tuesday.
Fauci said that the nature of COVID-19 and how it impacts those with pre-existing conditions is a reason why the virus is particularly more deadly for those in the African-American community. Fauci said that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionally affecting the minority population, especially African-Americans
“Unfortunately, when you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with the coronavirus, the things that get people to ICU’s, that require intubation and often lead to death, they are just those comorbidities that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African-American population,” Fauci said. “We are very concerned about that, it’s very sad, there is nothing we can do about that right now except to try to give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.”
What these statistics mean for African-Americans nationally is unclear. Trump and Fauci said they are working with the states to get a better idea of how coronavirus is impacting African-Americans.