By the numbers, Donald Trump had a better chance of recovery than many Americans. Statistics from across the country show that Black and Latino patients die from Covid-19 disproportionately more than other ethnic groups do.
In New York outside of the five boroughs of New York City, deaths are greatest among Black New Yorkers. Blacks make up 9 percent of the population, but account for 17 percent of the fatal cases. For Latino/Hispanic residents, the outlook for people with the disease is slightly more favorable: 14 percent of the deaths and 12 percent of the population. Among whites, the ratio is reversed, with a death rate that is less than their percentage of the population. The cause of the imbalance has been the subject of a lot of speculation, but the most glaring explanation is a difference in the quality of medical care.
The president and the increasing number of White House staff with the virus have access to quick and effective treatment. This is not the story in much of the country. In Suffolk County on Long Island, the communities with the largest Black or Latino populations also have the highest Covid-19 caseloads. Unfortunately, the county does not make public the number of deaths by ethnic background, but the infection levels alone indicate a public health crisis that is more severe among some of its residents but not so bad in others. The failure to provide adequate medical services equally is a result of the longtime systemic racism now being decried by the Black Lives Matter movement and others.
Every New Yorker should have the same chance of surviving the virus, regardless of their background or color of their skin. Although some have blamed the death imbalance on factors like diet and multiple family living arrangements, these are a distraction. The fact is that some Americans are more vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 than others, and our elected leaders at every level have failed to protect them. This is grim and immoral and must be changed.