(WSYR-TV) — To say that it has been a tumultuous week in our country is an understatement. First, we surpassed 100,000 deaths from coronavirus and then the nationwide protests began.
Some say we are fighting two infectious diseases: coronavirus and racism.
When it comes to coronavirus, African Americans are more susceptible to contract the virus and die from it.
African American patients are almost three times more likely than whites to be hospitalized. One-in-four African American patients have to be moved to the ICU compared to just one-in-10 white patients.
Why is this? There are many reasons. The head of the American Medical Association said the answer comes down to three main factors.
Pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, disproportionately impact the African American community.
African American workers are more likely to have essential jobs in healthcare, grocery stores, childcare and transportation, so they are more likely to have been exposed.
The head of the American Medical Association also said that African American workers are 60 percent more likely to be uninsured, live in close, cramped housing and in multi-generational households with at-risk, older family members.
The protests could make things worse, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying how he is concerned a second wave of infections could come.
Cuomo told the public to be smart about protesting and to wear a mask, keep your distance and get tested.