By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – While New York City is seeing indications that its coronavirus infections may be slowly abating, new data released Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio shows Latino and black city residents continue to face a disproportionate number of virus deaths.
New York City is the center of the U.S. outbreak with 76,876 confirmed infections, including 4,009 deaths, according to data being compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
According to preliminary city data released by de Blasio, Latinos account for the highest number of deaths in America's most populous city — 34% of all fatalities — despite making up 29% of the population. Blacks constitute 28% of those who have died while they account for just 22% of the population.
Whites and Asians both have a lower share of COVID-19 deaths than their percentage of population with whites at 27% while making up 32% of the population, and Asians, who make up 14% of population, at 7% of known virus-related deaths.
"We are seeing folks who have struggled before really being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. That's a blatant inequality and we don't accept it," de Blasio said during a press conference, calling the disproportional number of deaths among Latinos and blacks a "documented disparity."
The information de Blasio presented is based on death certificates, information from New York's medical examiner's office and the city's Department of Health.
Both black and Latino communities have higher rates of underlying chronic health conditions than whites nationwide.
The coronavirus is particularly fatal for individuals who are either elderly or have conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or asthma.
In all, the U.S. has recorded 399,929 confirmed coronavirus infections with 12,912 deaths and 22,539 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The novel coronavirus has spread to 184 countries and regions since it first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.