New figures released by independent research organization APM Research Lab reveals that more than 20,000 black Americans have died from the coronavirus. The report breaks down coronavirus deaths in the U.S. up to May 19 by race and ethnicity. The latest COVID-19 mortality rate for African Americans is 2.4 times as high as the rate for Whites and 2.2 times as high as the rate for Asians and Latinos. Kansas has the widest racial disparity, where Blacks are seven times more likely to die from coronavirus than Whites.
Researchers of the study added that their ability to gather important data on race has been slowed by a lack of federal action and sometimes non-existent reporting by several states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported its first set of death statistics by race this week in response to calls for basic information.
Andi Egbert, senior researcher at APM Research Lab, expressed her surprise that an independent organization is producing nationwide statistics that should be coming from the federal government. “I won’t speculate about motive, but I can’t believe in a modern economy that we don’t have a mandated, uniform way of reporting the data across states. We are in the midst of this tremendous crisis, and data is the best way of knowing who is suffering and how.”
Basketball legend and Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing announced on Friday that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Ewing, who is now the head coach of Georgetown University’s men’s basketball team, said he wants to let the public know that the virus can affect anyone. [READ MORE]
“I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” the 57-year-old said on Twitter. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”
Ewing also thanked frontline and healthcare workers as he is isolated in a hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has altered its website to stress that the coronavirus is not easily spread on contaminated surfaces. CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said the change was made during a review of its website and was intended to “clarify other types of spread beyond person to person.” Although no new data was provided to support the change, the CDC still recommends routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
A federal appeals court has backed California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order banning in-church services to slow the spread of coronavirus. The governor has been under pressure from religious groups and clergy in the state who argue that their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religious beliefs is being violated.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warns that health care workers, firefighters, police officers and teachers could lose their jobs if the state does not receive additional financial aid from the federal government.
During the Memorial Day weekend, several states experienced large gatherings on beaches and in public spaces. In Daytona Beach, Florida, police officers worked throughout the weekend to control traffic and disperse large crowds. No arrests were made.
Health officials in Missouri say two hairstylists at a Great Clips salon may have exposed 140 clients to coronavirus when they worked for up to eight days this month while experiencing symptoms.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told reporters that several people who attended a high school swim party have contracted COVID-19. Hutchinson encouraged citizens of the state to be safe and disciplined during the holiday weekend.
POLITICS & ECONOMY
In an interview on Sunday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said he thinks the unemployment rate will reach “north of 20%” in May and expects the rate to rise even higher in June.
Hassett added that it’s possible that the unemployment rate could still be in double digits in November, but that a vaccine breakthrough could improve the economy.
This article appears on Black America Web