African Americans and other people of color in the United States are more at risk amid the coronavirus pandemic because they are likelier to have other medical issues that make them more susceptible to serious complications from the virus, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

Also, because the luxury of working at home is not an option for millions of African Americans, they are more likely than their white counterparts to have jobs that pose a greater risk of exposure to the virus.

The report, for instance, shows that at least 28 percent of people of color between the ages of 18 and 64 have a medical condition putting them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

In addition, people of color are more likely to reside in food deserts and near pollution-emitting industrial facilities and other environmental hazards that contribute to high rates of asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.

The report found that such health disparities, which are a product of structural racism rather than individual choices or behavior, have contributed to stark inequities in COVID-19 outcomes.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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