Covid Does Not Affect All Races Equally

Mish

Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color are the most impacted.

Covid Racial Data

The Covid Racial Data Tracker shows People of Covid are the Most Impacted by Covid.

Nationwide Black People

The study just posts the numbers. It does not indicate reasons.

Question of Race

Q: Is race itself a factor in and of itself?

A: The report did not say but I suggest that's unlikely.

Rather, access to testing, healthcare, hygiene, and density of living conditions are the keys.

For example, native Americans living on reservations also have higher rates of alcoholism, obesity, and suicide. 

The CDC does not even have a category for American Indians or Alaska Natives. 

The categories are White, Black, Hispanic, and Other. The latter is not properly tracked.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly notes "In 23 states with adequate race/ethnicity data, the cumulative incidence of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among AI/AN persons was 3.5 times that among non-Hispanic white persons." 

Mish

Comments (105)
No. 1-20
RayLopez
RayLopez

A big mystery. Notice this amazing graphic:

Notice the USA was #1 in the world for an early quarantine (six days after the official "Wuhan outbreak") but still got hit hard. Notice every other country on the chart had similar policy responses (shutting down schools, bars, etc) at about the same time after the official Wuhan outbreak date, but had wildly varying outcomes (compare South Korea to the Netherlands, for example). It shows Covid-19, which some scientists believe is a chimeric virus, is still not understood well. It could affect different races differently (not just ages, South Korea is roughly as old, demographically, as are the Netherlands, but had 500 cases of C-19 per 1M people vs the Dutch 17.5k/1M)

Sechel
Sechel

I propose its economic. I would further suggest its likely that blacks and latinos on average are emloyed in more dangrous occupations from covid-19 perspective. They probably are less likely to be able to work remotely and be safe. Being front line worker, meat plant opertor or computer programmer working remotely carry very different risk profiles

I also agree living conditions and population density are going to be key factors

dbannist
dbannist

I'd say the headline is misleading a bit, though for reasons detailed in the post. It's not a racial issue, it's an obesity issue.

Obesity is in itself a massive reason for a bad outcome from COVID. It's extremely desireable in the black community among women to be "thick" (aka=obese). Many try hard at it and it's built into that culture.

I do believe access to medical care is part of it, but the desire to be "thick" is a larger part among black women. It's a cultural mindset that has negative affects on the black female community and is a subject that has been written about extensively in medical counseling.

It's harder to change mindsets than it is access to medical care.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Black people in Africa die at a much lower rate than in the US. It's not skin color. It's pre-existing conditions. Generally speaking, US blacks are fat and have hypertension. Africans are skinny and don't have hypertension.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

New Mexico had serious problems.....they had to close highways in and out of Gallup in May. Turns out it's one of the worst pockets of poverty in the country....with lots of drug addicts and homeless and alcoholics...and the NA's who live on the Rez have cultural issues with social distancing.

Here I'd say it hits the hispanic population because the building trades never shut down, or even slowed down. I was in an out of Home Depot a lot during our brief lockdown......and it appeared to be business as usual. Job sites all over town were busy as hell.

Blacks appeared to be hit hard here because we had (and still have) a lot of elder care workers who are African American. Some of these people are really unsung heroes.

Although I think everyone here is practicing better behavior than in the early days...I still think there are enough deniers to cause problems.....and my POV is that it's a demographic of people who are less-well educated and don't trust science.....the same demographic as the anti-vaxxers...

It's hard to social distance for this kind of extended time period. I attended my first small gathering all year that wasn't all immediate family this last week.....and afterward felt guilty as hell.....although masks were worn and some people were obviously trying to social distance....it's hard to drink a glass of wine with a mask on. I'm not planning on doing that again, although no one seems to have made anyone else sick.

Herkie
Herkie

Mish haven't you heard? Trump tweeted that the huge increase in Covid cases and hospitalizations is just a conspiracy of the liberal "fake news media" and the only reason we show more cases is because we test so much more than other nations!

It does not exist, it is fake news, ignore Covid because it is not real.

My bet is there are about 50 million total morons that will believe him also. In fact I had a handyman couple in Friday to finish painting my guest bathroom and the wife just point blank said that Covid is so exaggerated, more people die of the flu, and that only about 6,000 people have died of Covid while all the rest have died from their preexisting conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Seriously, looked me right in the eye and parroted Trump's lies about Covid. Had he been around in the 1500's he would have claimed the Black Death was really not what was killing people and that more people die of acne.

Nasty Edwin
Nasty Edwin

Non-Hispanic blacks (49.6%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanics (44.8%), non-Hispanic whites (42.2%) and non-Hispanic Asians (17.4%). CDC

CCBW
CCBW

One contributing factor could be vitamin D-3 in the third world that is one thing they and to a treatment for COCID 19. The darker your skin the less vitamin D-3 your body makes.
CCBW

Webej
Webej

Such statistics are hard to interpret, and many a commentator runs with it to prove this or that.
–There is some correlation with blood types, which have different distributions among races.
–There is some evidence that black people are less prone to respiratory illness.
–Some evidence for less vit D for darker skins.
–Black people in Africa offer little comparison: different age profile, too many differences in health and monitoring facilities, culture, etc.
–Men seem to have higher mortality, but others note that men of that age are generally more prone to death, and that when offset against different all cause mortality profiles, the difference between men and women is insignificant.
–There seems to be a genetic factor on the X chromozone predisposing to dysregulation of the bradykinin system (blood clotting, thrombosis, leaking into the lungs) which is down-regulated by the ACE2 enzyme, and women are less prone having 2 X chromosomes.
–In the beginning it was thought that smokers and Asians may have more expression of the ACE2 receptors, but not that much is known about racial distribution of ACE2. Smoking and air pollution (particularly NOx) do have marked correlation.
–There is obviously a genetic component (some young marathon runners w/o comorbidities are at death's doors, while 93 year old smokers glide through), but this has not been elucidated, and genetic factors could be racially disparate.
–Then there are factors such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, which probably play a much larger role than access to healthcare and living conditions. However, these factors could in turn be indirectly related to socio-economic circumstances.
–Occupation and precariousness of work may well prove more significant than healthcare differences.

In short, it ain't easy to tease out the meaning of correlations when causation is not well understood, and there are scores of super-imposed variables as well as a lack of data on certain variables. It's a little peremptory to let indignation rage, and truth be told, there are lots of other disparities that are equally unfair.

Doug78
Doug78

The fact that stands out in the graph is that two or more races category has a vastly lower rate than all the others. Either it's because of Heterosis or Hybred Vigor as it is also known or the graph is defective. Which one is it?

Carl_R
Carl_R

There is much we don't know, and may never know. For example, Scandinavian countries all have much lower death rates than the rest of Europe. Why is the death rate low in Africa? Genetics? Diet? Medical care? Who knows....

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

Culture plays a huge role in this also. Hispanics live in multigenerational households and work in high risk jobs. Black also like in multi generational households and a tendency to congregate in large groups on a regular basis. They also work high risk jobs.

There is also a correlation between death rate an IQ when adjusting for age and Comorbidities. Take a peek at the counties that have done a good job with this and compare it to IQ. This is a highly racist idea in this day and age.

threeblindmice
threeblindmice

Doesn't Mish know that any statistically disparity that is unfavorable to non-white people is, ipso facto, proof of structural racism? Ibram Kendi said so.

njbr
njbr

Gosh, you would think that a government interested in keeping the virus under control would extensively fund research into all aspects of the disease and who is most susceptible and why and how it could be prevented.

And then perhaps they would do the basics like making masks and distancing manditory and evolve the process with even more advanced developments in protection.

And perhaps have spent the summer between school sessions with improving on how to better do distance learning and how to safely opening schools which is a greater driver on the well being of society and the economy than making sure bars were open as quickly as possible and as long as possible.

But, hey, it's all a hoax. Covid, covid, covid all the time. Why can't the media cover mythical plane crashes with 500 fatalities twice a day like we used to..

230,000 deaths.

But this is America. A microcosm of the world population and still being the 11th worst in the world in terms of number of cases. 5 times the world average in the number of cases per million. 1,000 times worse than a country like Taiwan.

Rbm
Rbm

Heard of a study cant remember the nation. Basically risk of catching covid grocery stopping something like .002 percent. Chance of catching it as employee 9 percent.

Jojo
Jojo

"Covid Does Not Affect All Races Equally"

I think that applies to virtually every medical condition. Saw on TV today that men are twice as likely to die from Covid than woman. But woman are more likely to have longer-term consequences. Then those with blood types A, B and AB are more likely to get the virus. And obese people are more likely to get Covid. On and on...

Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

As another has noted: Lots of good and informative comments on this posting!

Couple notes:

Look at per-million excess death stats. Latin America is doing very badly. Sub-Saharan Africa is doing well. Middle East is weird. Western Pacific is doing very well. Lots of good proposals why.

Contrast of Africa with US Blacks: Don't be fooled by genetic categories you've been taught. "Africa" is a really big place and the whole out-of-Africa theory of human origins rests on the fact that Africa has huge genetic variations.

Genetically, US blacks are a blend of relatively small but well populated part of Africa with a dose of NW Europe thrown in. To put this in perspective, Obama's Dad comes from roughly 2 to 3 thousand miles from where US Blacks' African ancestors come from. So does his Mom.

AussiePete
AussiePete

Vitamin D deficiency is the best explanation. 82% of African Americans and 63% of Hispanic Americans are vitamin D deficient. The other high risk for Covid 19 categories - the elderly and obese - are also far more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Africans in Africa have far less vitamin D deficiency due to spending far more time in the (much stronger) sunlight, and that is reflected in their better covid 19 outcomes.

The lack of a general recommendation for vitamin D supplementation is borderline scandalous. Dr. Fauci has been reported as taking 6,000 IUs of vitamin D daily, ten times the official recommendation, but you have to ask him about it before he mentions it. Hundreds of studies on vitamin D and Covid 19 have been published, the vast majority of which show a direct correlation between low vitamin D status and risk of Covid 19, but it continues to be largely ignored by the medical profession

Jojo
Jojo

I've bene taking 4000 IU's daily for years.


Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY