ATLANTA — The latest data shows that African Americans in Georgia and across the United States are being hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
African Americans make up 34 percent of the people that have died from the coronavirus in the state of Georgia, according to the latest Department of Health numbers. White people make up about 29 percent of the current coronavirus related deaths in the state and the other 35 percent of people who've died were racially marked as unknown.
11Alive is working to learn if there are specific locations in Georgia where there may be larger racial discrepancies that account for the death rates.
Experts continuously say that black people have more underlying health conditions, while also having less access to medical care.
"You know the African American community ... we have preexisting conditions such as obesity, asthma, diabetes, [and] hypertension. I mean our communities are rampant with those things anyway. Now you're compounded by this deadly disease ... I mean it's no surprise that we're going to get hit harder," one medical expert explained on the TODAY Show.
According to an NBC News report, African Americans who make less money are at a higher risk. The report details that they are more likely to have jobs that can't be done remotely.
"I'm concerned this will be yet another case where there's a huge difference between people who are more wealthy and people who are poor, and there's going to be a difference between people of color and how much they suffer," Dr. Marcus Plescia, the chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told NBC News. “We have a longstanding legacy of bias and racism in our country and we’re not going to get beyond that quickly.”
According to another NBC article, some Democratic lawmakers and experts say the lack of consistent racial and ethnicity data across the state makes it hard to know if resources are being equally and fairly distributed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents age and gender in the daily reports and releases, however, no racial documentation has been released by the organization as of Wednesday, April 8. However, the federal government should release some data soon, according to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The census data shows that black people make up about 32 percent of Georgia's population.
Other areas notably experiencing high racial disparities as it pertains to the coronavirus pandemic are Chicago, Milwaukee County, Detroit, Philadelphia and more.
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