Blacks in US twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as whites
Black and Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans and three times more likely to be hospitalized with the coronavirus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That disparity is even more stark for the American Indian population. Compared to white Americans, American Indian communities are almost four times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID and more than twice as likely to die from the disease.
One year after former President Donald Trump told Americans that the novel coronavirus was "very much under control in this country," the United States on Monday surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
"It’s important to realize that the 500,000-person death toll that we have crossed didn’t to have be," Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told ABC News.
The pandemic has been disproportionately hard on people of color in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago.
Black Americans are also lagging behind whites in getting vaccine shots, continuing a long history of racial disparities in the nation's health care system.
Historically, racism and disparate racial outcomes in the US health care system run deep, highlighting discrimination many African Americans have endured.
In the 1930s, the US government launched a notorious medical experiment to record the natural history of syphilis among Black Americans.
The nearly 400 men with syphilis never received proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In the following decade, when penicillin became the drug used to treat syphilis, researchers did not offer it to Black patients.
The 40-year study, conducted without the patients' consent, ended after the research became public, causing a national outcry in the early 1970s.