Friday, April 10, 2020

Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. reveal a startling truth about America's 'two pandemics'

As CDC numbers show, we are only just starting to understand the danger this pandemic poses to Black Americans.Bebeto Matthews / AP

By The Rev. Al Sharpton

Every day, we are inundated with information about the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic. We hear about the rising number of deaths, the increasing rate of infections, the mental anguish, the shortages of critical supplies in hospitals, the people struggling to pay bills and survive, the long lines at food banks and so much more. But lost in the coverage of this virus is one critical point that we simply cannot ignore: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans and disenfranchised communities.

To be clear, I am not saying the pandemic is a conspiracy to kill or target Blacks, but it is illuminating the existing racial disparities in this country that reverberate in everything from health care to jobs, housing and more. We are watching a crisis within a crisis unfold before us, and our challenge is not just to expose it but also to ensure that when we rebuild and re-emerge, we take strategic steps to rectify it. Read more >>