The coronavirus has killed more than 36,500 Latinos in the United States since the pandemic began, as the virus continues to have an outsized effect on communities that already face inequality, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If you look at all the negative factors, risky jobs or unemployment, unsafe housing, poor air quality and preexisting conditions, it’s all people of color,” Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, associate professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, told The Washington Post.
“It's not because we are non-White, it's because of the social conditions that historically placed us at a disadvantage,” Rodriguez-Diaz added. “These are not new, but COVID[-19] is giving us the unfortunate opportunity to highlight these factors.”
The Post notes that Texas shows those disparities clearly, as people who identify as Hispanic or Latino make up 40% of the state’s population, and “comprise the bulk of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the counties that include Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. On the border, where Latinos are a majority of the population, the number of virus patients overwhelmed hospitals this summer.”
Luis Ostrosky, professor of medicine and vice chair for Healthcare Quality at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said that “there’s likely an undercounting of how deeply and severely affected Latinos have been by coronavirus.”
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