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People Who Die From COVID Now Have This Surprising Thing in Common

FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

The shape of the COVID-19 pandemic keeps changing, and it's clear that the coronavirus and its variants aren't following many predictable patterns. But one thing has changed that may surprise even the most experienced health experts: The demographic of people most likely to die from the virus. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

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Surprising News About Death Rates

Courtesy of CNN

Healthcare inequality in the U.S. is a major problem, and during the pandemic, experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci have called out the fact that minority communities are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and negative outcomes. 

But this week, the New York Times reported that people who are dying from COVID at the highest rate have something surprising in common: They're white.

David Leonhardt points out that according to CDC data, over the last year, the COVID death rate for white Americans has been 14 percent higher than the rate for Black Americans and 72 percent higher than the rate among Latinos.

Those statistics have essentially "flipped," he reports, as during the early months of the pandemic, the death rate among Black Americans was nearly twice as high as that of white Americans.

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Why Is This Happening?

Check-in for coronavirus vaccination against Covid-19 with doctor in the background.
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The answer lies in vaccination rates. The percentage of Black and Latino Americans who've been vaccinated against COVID-19 is now higher than that percentage among white Americans.

Grassroots efforts to promote vaccination in specific communities have been successful. But the vaccination rate among whites hasn't budged. The culprit: Politics. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only about 60 percent of Republican adults are vaccinated, compared to more than 90 percent of Democrats and nearly 75 percent of independents.

"In heavily conservative, white communities, leaders have not done as good a job explaining the vaccine's benefits — and Covid's risks — as leaders in Black and Latino communities," writes Leonhardt. "Instead, many conservative media figures, politicians, clergy members and others have amplified false or misleading information about the vaccines."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.
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Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael
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