International

African Americans at more risk for coronavirus, says Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump | File

U.S. President Donald Trump | File   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

They’re getting hit very, very hard, says the U.S. President

The African American community are more susceptible to coronavirus, the latest COVID-19 testing data from the ground reflects, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.

We are actively engaging on the problem of increased impacts there’s a real problem, and it is showing up very strongly in our data on the African-American community, Mr. Trump told reporters during the daily press conference of the White House Task Force on coronavirus.

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The U.S., so far, has conducted 1.87 million tests, he said.

“We are just seeing tremendous evidence that African Americans are affected at a far greater percentage number than other citizens of our country,” he said in response to a question.

“We are doing everything in our power to address this challenge. It is a tremendous challenge, is terrible and provide support to African-American citizens of this country who are going through a lot, but it has been disproportional. They’re getting hit very, very hard, in fact,” Mr.Trump said.

Community disproportionately afflicted by diabetes, asthma

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institute of Health, said the African American community traditionally have been disproportionately afflicted by diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma.

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Unfortunately, when you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus, the things that get people into ICUs that require intubation and often lead to death, they are just those very co-morbidities that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African-American population, he said.

“We are very concerned about that. It’s very sad. It’s nothing we can do about it right now except to try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications,” Dr. Fauci told reporters at the news conference.

Dr Deborah Brix, a member of the White House Task Force on coronavirus, asserted that they do not want to give the impression that the African-American community is more susceptible to the virus.

“We don’t have any data that suggest that. What our data suggests is they are more susceptible to more difficult and severe disease and poorer outcomes, and we really need to make sure that every household is aware of what it’s going to take to protect the individuals in that household that have pre-existing conditions,” she said.

She called on the indigenous nations, the real tribal leaders, to also be working very closely to protect elders of their communities.

“We know this is more difficult in multi-generational households, and it’s really going to call for really unbelievable attention to details of hand-washing and protecting others from each other, particularly if you don’t feel well”, she said.

Dr. Fauci said it is not that the African Americans are getting infected more often, but when they get infected their underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate.

So when all of this is over and as we have said it will end, we will get over coronavirus but there will still be health disparities which we really do need to address in the African-American community, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:41:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/african-americans-at-more-risk-for-coronavirus-says-trump/article31285615.ece

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