Children Of Color Dying At Higher Rate From COVID-19 Than White Children

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the county with 7,958,254 cases and 216,917 deaths.

The massive and alarming numbers also include more than 121 kids and teens under 21 years old who've died from the coronavirus so far across the US.

Disturbingly, the 121 were also all Black.

According to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, very few children who've gotten sick with the coronavirus have died. Of the 391,814 cases of COVID-19 — as well as the rare infection linked to it, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome — that the CDC recorded between February 12 and July 31 of this year, only 121 (about 0.03%) were deadly.

However, the 121 represents just 17 white children compared to 35 deaths of Black children, and 54 Hispanic deaths.

"The data is horrifying, but not surprising to me," Dr. Uché Blackstock, founder of Advancing Health Equity. "Where you see marginalization and disadvantage, you're going to find coronavirus."

White children comprise about 50 percent of the kids in the country, according to the Kids Count Data Center, but account for only 14 percent of the childhood COVID-19 deaths.

Black children only make up 14 percent of children in the county, but they also account for 28.9 percent of the deaths.

The CDC suspects so many children of color are dying from the coronavirus because they live in the same households as adults of color, who are more likely to be essential workers and exposed to the virus on the job.

"Their risk of being infected is higher than white children," Blackstock said.

Systemic racism that puts black children’s health at risks like living conditions and wage gaps subject them to higher risk environments than their white counterparts.

"Not just lack of access to food, but, lack of access to green space, lack of access even to healthcare and regular preventative care that could prevent worsening of these chronic conditions," Blackstock said. "Children don't go untouched when we're talking about marginalization and disadvantage."

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