The president of the United States and the governor of New York State have acknowledged that African Americans are dying of Coronavirus, also known as COVID19, at a disproportionate rate compared to any other ethnic group. They also recommended mass testing to determine the rate of infection among the populace of urban areas that have experienced the death rate of Black people around three or four times higher than the general population.
In Chicago, where African Americans are 32% of the city’s population, 70% of COVID19 deaths have been Black people. In Detroit, Michigan, New Orleans, LA and Boston, Mass. the disparity between the number of deaths attributed to the Coronavirus among Blacks and the rest of the city is similar to the numbers detected in Chicago.
Some of the reasons cited for these disparities have been underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, inadequate immune system due to poor diet and social choices like smoking, high drug use or high level of alcohol consumption. All of these factors may be true due to neglect, racism, discrimination and lack of resources directed to impoverished areas such as the eastside of Buffalo. We will not know for sure the extent of this pandemic’s damage in our community until Erie County and its department of health immediately initiate a program of mass and targeted testing for the Coronavirus on the Eastside of Buffalo!
The Erie County’s zip codes with the highest levels of Coronavirus include 14211, 14208 and of course 14215, which has been designated the zip code with the highest level of COVIL 19 infections in all of Erie County!
As of this writing, of the 1,600 cases of the Coronavirus in Erie County, there have been 606 cases and 61 deaths, a disproportionally number of them being African Americans in the City of Buffalo. With no mass or targeted testing for the virus on the highly impacted eastside, we have no idea how high or deadly the numbers are.
If the President of the United States and the Governor of the State of New York can see the value of mass and targeted Coronavirus tests for a vulnerable and at-risk minority population, surely our local elected leaders can see the need as well!