WORLD New York officials concerned of racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths

WORLD

New York officials concerned of racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths

Xinhua

08:50, April 09, 2020

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NEW YORK, April 8 (Xinhua) -- African Americans and Latinos are more affected by novel coronavirus in the U.S. state of New York compared with other ethnic groups, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Part of the reason could be that a large portion of public workers are African Americans and Latinos, who have no choice but to keep doing essential works such as driving a bus, and they often live in dense communities, said Cuomo at a press briefing.

"It always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price," said Cuomo, vowing the state would do more research on the issue and conduct more testing in minority communities.

Similar racial disparities are seen in New York City, said Mayor Bill de Blasio at his briefing on Wednesday, citing preliminary statistics released by City Hall.

Latinos, who make up 29 percent of the city's population, account for 34 percent of the coronavirus deaths, the data showed.

Meanwhile, 28 percent of deaths occurred in the African American community, which make up 22 percent of the city's population.

"It's sick. It's troubling. It's wrong," said the mayor. "The pain it's causing, the death it's causing, tracks with other profound health care disparities that we have seen for decades in this city."

"We have to fight in new ways what is now a documented disparity," he added.

President Donald Trump also noted on Tuesday's White House briefing that evidence shows African Americans have higher rates of COVID-19 infection in the United States.

Trump said his administration is actively engaging on the increased impacts on the African American community, and doing everything to address this challenge.

A total of 779 people died of COVID-19 in New York state from Tuesday to Wednesday, the highest single day death toll yet since the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Cuomo said.

The number broke the record set just one day ago, which was 731 deaths statewide from Monday to Tuesday.

"The number of deaths will continue to rise as those hospitalized for a longer period of time pass away. The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely you will come off the ventilator," said Cuomo.

The governor said he's going to direct all flags to be flown at half mast "in honor of those who we have lost to this virus."

There are also encouraging signs, as numbers including the daily hospital admissions and incubations are down, which means that social distancing protocol and businesses and school closures have been working.

"We have to remain disciplined going forward, but there's no doubt that we are now bending the curve and there's no doubt that we can't stop doing what we're doing," said the governor.

As of Wednesday afternoon local time, New York state recorded over 150,000 cases, more than the total number of any country or region in the world except the United States.


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