Surgeon general says African Americans are at ‘higher risk’ for coronavirus


Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday said African Americans are at a higher risk during the coronavirus pandemic as numbers revealing a disparity in cases and deaths are beginning to emerge from states.

“I and many black Americans are at higher risk for COVID,” Adams said in an appearance on “CBS This Morning.” 

Adams noted that black Americans are more likely to have preexisting conditions and lack access to health care. He said that he himself has high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease and is prediabetic. 

“So I represent that legacy of growing up poor and black in America,” Adams said. “And I and many black Americans are at higher risk for COVID, which is why we need everyone to do their part to slow the spread.”

Lawmakers have begun calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to release full racial data of coronavirus cases in the U.S. after several states and cities have done so, revealing grim trends. 

Adams said the CDC “should be, and are tracking this virus by different demographic groups.”

In Chicago, for example, black Americans account for 68 percent of the city’s 118 deaths and 52 percent of the roughly 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, despite making up just 30 percent of the city’s population, according to data from the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Adams said those statistics represent why public health officials are urging social distancing. 

“Now’s the time for us to really come together and say, ‘I’m not just doing this for me and my family, I’m doing this for my community and all the communities across the country,'” he said. 

Tags African-Americans Coronavirus Demographics Jerome Adams Surgeon general
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