Chicago, New Orleans And Detroit Are Coronavirus Hot Spots: What This Means For Black America

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
New Orleans is one of the coronavirus hot spots, along with Chicago and Detroit. In this photo, a man pushes a wheelchair down Bourbon Street, March 19, 2020. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell have ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for takeout and residents to remain home and maintain social distancing. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Now the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. soared past 189,000 as of Wednesday, April 1. Cities with large Black populations emerged as hot spots for the disease, including Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit.

As more people received testing, cases in these urban communities skyrocketed from hundreds to thousands, reported CNN. According to data from March 30, Chicago had approx. 2,000 of Illinois over 5,000 cases; New Orleans had approx. 1,480 of Louisiana’s over 5, 000 cases; and Detroit had approx. 1,800 of Michigan’s nearly 6,500 cases, reported Al-Jazeera.

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Chicago reported 73 deaths, New Orleans 86 and Detroit 50, making their per capita death rates higher than other cities in the country.

The outbreak is so bad, Detroit’s hospitals are at capacity and its renowned Henry Ford Hospital has drafted a “worst-case scenario” treatment protocol, prioritizing patients that would likely survive, reported NBC Today.

The numbers are climbing daily as people are dying at alarming rates, with the government’s top health officials estimating coronavirus could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

Experts said the staggering number of fatalities are likely to occur, even if Americans perfectly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

This means the old adage, “When America catches a cold, Black America catches the flu,” is magnified. America has caught the deadly coronavirus –and Black America is even more ill-prepared to fight it than the rest of the country.

With more health issues, less wealth and an array of inequitable socioeconomic conditions, Black America is poised to feel a brunt of pandemic’s pain.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 70: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin goes solo to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. He talks about the failed leadership of Trump, Andrew Cuomo, CDC Director Robert Redfield, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and New York Mayor de Blasio.

Black doctors in Virginia and elected officials have already expressed concern that Black Americans are not being tested and treated for COVID-19 as they should. In states like Wisconsin, all of the patients that died thus far were Black.

“We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations – one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives,” U.N. secretary general António Guterres said, according to National Review. “But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core.”

“We are being as creative as we can be, but unleashing more equipment is something that we desperately need as well,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Her sentiment is echoed by state and local government and health officials in all states. They are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Henry ford explained it’s worst case scenario policy because of it on Twitter:

While following health officials’ advice and boosting one’s immune system are the best ways to stay as safe as possible, U.S. leaders are calling on the Trump Administration not to leave Black America, and other communities of color, behind.

“Any attempt to contain COVID-19 in the United States will have to address its potential spread in low-income communities of color, first and foremost to protect the lives of people in those communities, but also to slow the spread of the virus in the country as a whole,” a recent letter members of Congress to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary read.