Black people are among the groups experiencing higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 as the United States grapples with worsening conditions due to the pandemic.
A study conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine found Black patients represented 25.5 percent of hospitalizations during the first six months of the pandemic. Only Hispanic people surpassed Black people at 33 percent. Additionally, Black and Hispanic populations made up 53 percent of deaths.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on racial and ethnic disparities in health care that have been happening for years,” said Dr. Fatima Rodriguez, lead author of the report. “Our study shows an over-representation of Black and Hispanic patients in terms of morbidity and mortality that needs to be addressed upstream before hospitalization.”
This week, the pandemic death toll surpassed 250,000 in the United States and could rise by 26,000 to 48,000 by December 12, according to data from the CDC.
“The number of deaths that we’re going to see in three weeks’ time or four weeks’ time reflects the actions that we all take right now,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and the former Baltimore health commissioner, told CNN in an interview published on Nov. 19.
“I understand that people are worried, they’re stressed, they haven’t seen their loved ones, they want to see their loved ones now more than ever,” she added. “But we really cannot do that in person, indoors, safely this Thanksgiving.”
On the same day, the CDC issued updated COVID-19 guidelines, which included a recommendation against any holiday travel.
“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period,” Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, announced during a media briefing this week. “Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads, to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time.”