Posted on April 16, 2020

COVID-19 and Racism

Henry Percy, American Thinker, April, 15, 2020

The left is busy telling us that Covid-19 hits everyone alike. Here’s an example from the National Immigration Forum: “Policymakers should respond to COVID-19 by considering the health and safety of all people — including all types of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.” Because people are people, right?

Wrong. It does not infect us all the same, and mortality varies greatly by demographic group. In fact, all diseases are selective. Women are far more likely to get breast cancer than men. And men are incalculably more likely to develop prostate cancer than women. It’s just not fair.

But to return to Covid-19. As Mark Steyn has noted, a victim of the disease over 60 who enters an ICU has a one in two chance of walking out (see Boris Johnson). A victim over 70 has a one in three chance of making it out alive (see John Prine).

Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago (who flouted her stay-at-home decree to get her hair cut because “I’m the public face of this city … I felt like I needed to have a haircut.”), is distressed that “72% of people in Chicago who have died from COVID-19 are Black despite African Americans making up just 30% of the city’s population.” She admits that she does not have good data on the disease, but no matter. Because racism.

Then there’s the Tuesday Arizona Republic:

Native Americans, older people and men are dying in disproportionate numbers in Arizona from Covid-19, the data show, although information on the race and ethnicity of cases and deaths is incomplete.

The state says race is unknown for 63% of the new coronavirus cases and 49% of those who have died. [emphasis added]

“Incomplete” is a vast understatement. We have no idea of race in half of fatalities and in nearly two-thirds of total cases, yet we can draw conclusions.

Here are the groups most at risk from Covid-19, according to the CDC:

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised

o   Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including  cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.

  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

According to the Indian Health Service, American Indians and Alaska Natives have mortality rates far higher than the US average in the following areas, among others:

  • Accidents (2.5X)
  • Diabetes (3.2X)
  • Alcohol-induced (6.6X)
  • Liver disease (4.6X)
  • Flu & pneumonia (1.8X)
  • Kidney disease (1.5X)

In addition, obesity among Native Americans is far higher than in the general US population. While not an immediate cause of death, obesity exacerbates many of the listed morbidities.

Does anyone see the overlap of health problems among Native Americans and those groups most at risk from Covid-19? We should be shocked if Covid-19 mortality on the Navajo Nation were not far higher than in the general Arizona population. But with the incompleteness of data at present, we just do not know. No matter. Any disparities must be due to racism.