Black Americans face higher virus death rates

At first, COVID-19 did not seem to discriminate. But in the last few weeks, Dr. Uche has witnessed a notable shift: Fewer white people have showed up, while there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of black and brown patients.

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April 9, 2020 - 9:59 AM

A woman holds a child as she walks past people waiting in line to receive testing during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Chicago. Photo by REUTERS/Joshua Lott

NEW ORLEANS — At first, COVID-19 did not seem to discriminate. The patients who walked into Dr. Uche Blackstock’s urgent-care clinics in Brooklyn, N.Y., with coughs and fevers were white, black and brown.

But in the last few weeks, she has witnessed a notable shift: Fewer white people have showed up, while there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of black and brown patients.

Many are lower-income service workers and essential workers — delivery drivers, police officers, subway workers, corrections officers — who do not have the luxury of working from home or retreating to a second home in a less dense community.

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