April 21, 2020

Maria and Julio on Detroit Today With Stephen Henderson: Why COVID-19’s Impact On People of Color Is Not Surprising

As COVID-19 data begins to become clearer, public health experts are warning that the COVID-19 outbreak is disproportionately impacting communities of color across the country.

“It doesn’t surprise me that, disproportionately, the impact of COVID-19 has hit traditional black and Latino communities,” says Varela. He found that there has been an explosion of cases in Chelsea, Mass., a community with a high immigrant population and that makes up a large percentage of the essential workforce in Boston,” Julio said.

In Michigan, African Americans represent 14% of the state’s population, and yet account for 40% of COVID-19 deaths. This statistic is alarming but sadly represents the virus’ outsized presence in communities of color throughout America, as reported by WDET.

Maria says that the racial disparity seen in the essential workforce is a major contributor to the pandemic’s impact on POC.

“You’re not going to find white people riding on the New York City subway right now,” Maria said.  

Listen to the full episode here.