Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Latinos and African Americans in New York are dying at highest rates from coronavirus

African Americans and Latino New Yorkers have been the hardest hit by coronavirus deaths in the city, dying at the highest rates of any racial group, new data from the city shows.

Latinos make up 34 percent of the city’s deaths from Covid-19, compared with 29 percent of the population, according to the new data. African Americans comprise 28 percent of deaths, compared with 22 percent of the population.

“When I saw this, it made me very angry,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday. “It’s sick. It’s troubling. It’s wrong.” White and Asian New Yorkers, by contrast, have suffered fewer deaths compared with their share of the city’s population.

The most deaths are happening among racial groups that have historically suffered more from chronic health conditions and had less access to healthcare. “So many people struggle to get the healthcare they need, who didn’t have the money to afford the healthcare they deserved. So many people have lived with chronic healthcare conditions,”de Blasio said.

Many African American and Latino New Yorkers are service workers and frontline employees who have been unable to shelter at home and continued to go to work as the crisis has progressed. In New York, Latino immigrant communities have been particularly hard hit; neighborhood data shows that Corona, Queens has the most coronavirus cases of any area in the city, with 1,659.

Language barriers may be preventing some Latinos from getting thorough information about the virus, officials said — and they worry undocumented immigrants are shying away from getting healthcare because of fear over their immigration status. “The anti-immigrant rhetoric across this country, I think, has real implications in the health of our communities,” said Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

City Council Member Francisco Moya, who represents Corona and Elmhurst, said many residents there don’t have health insurance and work in service industry jobs that can’t be done from home. “This disease is decimating black and Latino communities,” he said. “As someone who lives in Corona, Queens, and represents Elmhurst Hospital, it’s been clear for weeks that we were ground zero for the U.S. outbreak.”