Virus killing more African Americans in US than any other group, study finds
Health

Virus killing more African Americans in US than any other group, study finds

The latest:There have been more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 71,000 people, according to Hopkins.President Trump toured and spoke at a mask production facility.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that New York City will begin to shut down the entire subway system for the first time ever to disinfect trains.The World Health Organization says 108 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in development around the world, according to documents posted on its website. An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House is now forecasting that 134,000 people will die of COVID-19 in the U.S., nearly double its previous prediction. More African Americans are dying from coronavirus in the United States than whites or other ethnic groups, according to a new study.Black Americans represent just 13.4% of the American population, according to the US Census Bureau, but account for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and almost 60% of deaths, the study found.Disparities, including access to health care, are likely to blame, researchers concluded in a report released Tuesday.The team of epidemiologists and clinicians at four universities worked with amfAR, the AIDS research non-profit, and Seattle’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, PATH, to analyze Covid-19 cases and deaths using county-level comparisons. Racial data is still lacking in many areas, and their analysis uses what data was available as of mid-April.The results: They compared counties with a disproportionate number of black residents — those with a population of 13% or more — with those with lower numbers of African American residents. Counties with higher populations of black residents accounted for 52% of coronavirus diagnoses and 58% of Covid-19 deaths nationally, they said.“Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors elevate risk for COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities,” wrote the scientists from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.“Collectively, these data demonstrate significantly higher rates of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in disproportionately black counties compared to other counties, as well as greater diabetes diagnoses, heart disease deaths, and cerebrovascular disease deaths in unadjusted analyses,” the authors concluded.The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, is currently under consideration by a medical journal and has not yet been published.Model cited by White House projects 134,000 deaths in the U.S.Public spaces were filled with visitors over the weekend as some states began loosening lockdown measures, and experts now warn the easing could drive up the country’s coronavirus death toll — by nearly double, according to one prediction.In the past two weeks, governors across the country introduced plans for phased reopenings amid mounting pressure from residents and businesses who are fearful of devastating economic impacts of lockdowns.But easing restrictions now may come with a heavy price.”It’s the balance of something that’s a very difficult choice,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, told CNN Monday night. “How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality, sooner rather than later?”At least 42 states will have eased restrictions by this coming Sunday, ranging from simply opening state parks to allowing some businesses to restart. This includes California — the first state to implement a sweeping stay-at-home order — where some stores will be allowed to reopen this week.The U.S. could now see 134,475 deaths by early August — nearly double the prediction just last week of 74,000 deaths by a model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.Relatedly, a Trump administration model projects a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in the weeks ahead, up to about 3,000 daily deaths in the U.S. by June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times. Over the past week, about 2,000 people died daily in the U.S., according to data from Hopkins.The sharp increases in the two models are tied to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility in the U.S. States across the country — including Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina — have eased restrictions in an attempt to revive a sputtering economy and calm restless residents.States are easing restrictions even though many areas have yet to hit their projected peaks — meaning there’s plenty of room for overwhelming infection rates, said Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious diseases physician at the Yale School of Medicine.”(People’s increased) mobility and bringing the virus potentially from one area of the state to another area of the state is something that can really change this entire trajectory” for the worse, Juthani told CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday.So far, the U.S. has recorded more than 1,181,800 infections and at least 69,079 deaths. Over the weekend, parks in New York City and Atlanta drew crowds as residents began venturing out of their homes. In the city of Miami Beach, more than 7,300 warnings were issued to people who weren’t wearing face covers, while more than 470 warnings were given to those who failed to practice social distancing.Discarding social distancing measures too quickly can result in a rebound of cases, Fauci said. And a rebound is highly likely with a virus that can spread “like wildfire.”More coronavirus vaccine candidates are tested in the USResearchers continue to race for a potential coronavirus vaccine — and another group of candidates is being tested in people in the United States.U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech have begun testing four coronavirus vaccine candidates in humans in New York and Maryland, the companies said Tuesday.The trial had already started in patients in Germany last week. The Phase 1/2 study is designed to test the safety, effectiveness and best dose level of the four vaccine candidates.The first stage of the U.S. trial will enroll up to 360 healthy adults, starting with ages 18 to 55 and eventually including ages 65 to 85, the companies said.These companies aren’t the first with a vaccine program this far along.The U.S. National Institutes of Health started human testing of one vaccine candidate in the United States in March. In the United Kingdom, Oxford University’s Jenner Institute began testing its vaccine candidate in humans in April. The World Health Organization says 108 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in development around the world — up from 102 on April 30. Eight of the potential vaccine programs have been approved for clinical trials, WHO says.Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, last week suggested January as a potential date for a vaccine, but vaccines typically take years to produce.An experimental coronavirus vaccine entering into human trials in the U.S. could be available in “many millions” of doses by the end of 2020, according to the CEO of BioNTech.The German drug maker has partnered with U.S. giant Pfizer to distribute a potential vaccine, which is already in human trials in Germany. BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin believes the regulatory approval process could be sped up from what is historically an 18-month time frame due to the global pandemic. “So the approval of any drug is based on the evaluation of a potential benefit and remaining risk,” Şahin told CNN. “The benefit of a vaccine in a pandemic situation is much greater and therefore an approval or an authorization of a vaccine in a pandemic situation has to follow other rules than we have seen in the past.” If it is approved by the regulators, Şahin said the partners are “prepared to go as fast as possible” to get the vaccine to the population.Meanwhile, researchers may be learning more about how soon COVID-19 spread outside China.Doctors at a Paris hospital say they’ve found evidence that a patient who was there in December was infected with COVID-19. The man had not been to China.If verified, this finding would show that the virus was already circulating in Europe at that time — well before the first known cases were diagnosed in France or hotspot Italy.The first official reports of COVID-19 in France had come on Jan. 24, in two people who had a history of travel to Wuhan, China.Protests against masks As health officials and businesses navigate safe reopenings, many communities — and the federal government — have urged Americans to wear face coverings when they’re in public. In parts of the U.S., it’s required.But those guidelines have also seen pushback — including last week at Michigan’s Capitol building, where hundreds of protesters showed up, most of whom were not covering their faces.On Friday, a security guard was shot in the head and killed after telling a customer at a Michigan Family Dollar store to wear a face mask. The governor required face masks in enclosed public spaces in late April. Three people have been charged.In Stillwater, Oklahoma, an emergency proclamation issued to require face masks in stores and restaurants was amended a day later after store employees were “threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement.And in San Diego County, a supermarket customer wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood to cover his face and only removed it at the cashier despite having been repeatedly asked to multiple times before, KSWB reported.

The latest:

  • There have been more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 71,000 people, according to Hopkins.
  • President Trump toured and spoke at a mask production facility.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that New York City will begin to shut down the entire subway system for the first time ever to disinfect trains.
  • The World Health Organization says 108 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in development around the world, according to documents posted on its website.
  • An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House is now forecasting that 134,000 people will die of COVID-19 in the U.S., nearly double its previous prediction.

More African Americans are dying from coronavirus in the United States than whites or other ethnic groups, according to a new study.

Black Americans represent just 13.4% of the American population, according to the US Census Bureau, but account for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and almost 60% of deaths, the study found.

Disparities, including access to health care, are likely to blame, researchers concluded in a report released Tuesday.

The team of epidemiologists and clinicians at four universities worked with amfAR, the AIDS research non-profit, and Seattle’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, PATH, to analyze Covid-19 cases and deaths using county-level comparisons.

Racial data is still lacking in many areas, and their analysis uses what data was available as of mid-April.

The results: They compared counties with a disproportionate number of black residents — those with a population of 13% or more — with those with lower numbers of African American residents.

Counties with higher populations of black residents accounted for 52% of coronavirus diagnoses and 58% of Covid-19 deaths nationally, they said.

“Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors elevate risk for COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities,” wrote the scientists from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

“Collectively, these data demonstrate significantly higher rates of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in disproportionately black counties compared to other counties, as well as greater diabetes diagnoses, heart disease deaths, and cerebrovascular disease deaths in unadjusted analyses,” the authors concluded.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, is currently under consideration by a medical journal and has not yet been published.

Model cited by White House projects 134,000 deaths in the U.S.

Public spaces were filled with visitors over the weekend as some states began loosening lockdown measures, and experts now warn the easing could drive up the country’s coronavirus death toll — by nearly double, according to one prediction.

In the past two weeks, governors across the country introduced plans for phased reopenings amid mounting pressure from residents and businesses who are fearful of devastating economic impacts of lockdowns.

But easing restrictions now may come with a heavy price.

“It’s the balance of something that’s a very difficult choice,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, told CNN Monday night. “How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality, sooner rather than later?”

At least 42 states will have eased restrictions by this coming Sunday, ranging from simply opening state parks to allowing some businesses to restart. This includes California — the first state to implement a sweeping stay-at-home order — where some stores will be allowed to reopen this week.

The U.S. could now see 134,475 deaths by early August — nearly double the prediction just last week of 74,000 deaths by a model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Relatedly, a Trump administration model projects a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in the weeks ahead, up to about 3,000 daily deaths in the U.S. by June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times. Over the past week, about 2,000 people died daily in the U.S., according to data from Hopkins.

The sharp increases in the two models are tied to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility in the U.S. States across the country — including Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina — have eased restrictions in an attempt to revive a sputtering economy and calm restless residents.

States are easing restrictions even though many areas have yet to hit their projected peaks — meaning there’s plenty of room for overwhelming infection rates, said Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious diseases physician at the Yale School of Medicine.

“(People’s increased) mobility and bringing the virus potentially from one area of the state to another area of the state is something that can really change this entire trajectory” for the worse, Juthani told CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday.

So far, the U.S. has recorded more than 1,181,800 infections and at least 69,079 deaths. Over the weekend, parks in New York City and Atlanta drew crowds as residents began venturing out of their homes. In the city of Miami Beach, more than 7,300 warnings were issued to people who weren’t wearing face covers, while more than 470 warnings were given to those who failed to practice social distancing.

Discarding social distancing measures too quickly can result in a rebound of cases, Fauci said. And a rebound is highly likely with a virus that can spread “like wildfire.”

More coronavirus vaccine candidates are tested in the US

Researchers continue to race for a potential coronavirus vaccine — and another group of candidates is being tested in people in the United States.

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech have begun testing four coronavirus vaccine candidates in humans in New York and Maryland, the companies said Tuesday.

The trial had already started in patients in Germany last week. The Phase 1/2 study is designed to test the safety, effectiveness and best dose level of the four vaccine candidates.

The first stage of the U.S. trial will enroll up to 360 healthy adults, starting with ages 18 to 55 and eventually including ages 65 to 85, the companies said.

These companies aren’t the first with a vaccine program this far along.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health started human testing of one vaccine candidate in the United States in March. In the United Kingdom, Oxford University’s Jenner Institute began testing its vaccine candidate in humans in April.

The World Health Organization says 108 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in development around the world — up from 102 on April 30. Eight of the potential vaccine programs have been approved for clinical trials, WHO says.

Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, last week suggested January as a potential date for a vaccine, but vaccines typically take years to produce.

An experimental coronavirus vaccine entering into human trials in the U.S. could be available in “many millions” of doses by the end of 2020, according to the CEO of BioNTech.

The German drug maker has partnered with U.S. giant Pfizer to distribute a potential vaccine, which is already in human trials in Germany. BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin believes the regulatory approval process could be sped up from what is historically an 18-month time frame due to the global pandemic.

“So the approval of any drug is based on the evaluation of a potential benefit and remaining risk,” Şahin told CNN. “The benefit of a vaccine in a pandemic situation is much greater and therefore an approval or an authorization of a vaccine in a pandemic situation has to follow other rules than we have seen in the past.”

If it is approved by the regulators, Şahin said the partners are “prepared to go as fast as possible” to get the vaccine to the population.

Meanwhile, researchers may be learning more about how soon COVID-19 spread outside China.

Doctors at a Paris hospital say they’ve found evidence that a patient who was there in December was infected with COVID-19. The man had not been to China.

If verified, this finding would show that the virus was already circulating in Europe at that time — well before the first known cases were diagnosed in France or hotspot Italy.

The first official reports of COVID-19 in France had come on Jan. 24, in two people who had a history of travel to Wuhan, China.

Protests against masks

As health officials and businesses navigate safe reopenings, many communities — and the federal government — have urged Americans to wear face coverings when they’re in public. In parts of the U.S., it’s required.

But those guidelines have also seen pushback — including last week at Michigan’s Capitol building, where hundreds of protesters showed up, most of whom were not covering their faces.

On Friday, a security guard was shot in the head and killed after telling a customer at a Michigan Family Dollar store to wear a face mask. The governor required face masks in enclosed public spaces in late April. Three people have been charged.

In Stillwater, Oklahoma, an emergency proclamation issued to require face masks in stores and restaurants was amended a day later after store employees were “threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement.

And in San Diego County, a supermarket customer wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood to cover his face and only removed it at the cashier despite having been repeatedly asked to multiple times before, KSWB reported.

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