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COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers (May 2020 Edition)


As the US closes in on 100,000 official COVID-19 deaths - the real toll is undoubtedly higher - other numbers tell the story of the pandemic's disparate impact on Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color. Please: take a moment to read through the numbers. Share them with friends, family, colleagues. Use them as starting points for discussion. And consider, as we do often these days, how we can, individually and collectively, change the way such stories unfold in the crises to come.

Inspired by the Harper's Index. Published on May 25th, 2020. For more insight and resources at the intersection of COVID and race, check out these EmbraceRace curated lists: COVID resources that take race seriously and The racial impacts of COVID.

  • Number of states that report at least some race data on adult COVID-19 cases, deaths, and testing as of May 24th: 46, 40, 4.
  • Number of states that report at least some race data on children with COVID-19 (as of May 19th): 2.
  • Among children with COVID-19 in those two states (California and Illinois) for whom we have race/ethnicity data, percentage who are Hispanic: 66.
  • Among states where American Indians and Alaska Natives comprise at least 5% of the total population, the number that report no race data on COVID-19 deaths as of May 24th: 4 of 7.
  • Percentage of New York State residents tested for the coronavirus as of May 20th: 8.
  • Of Navajo Nation residents tested as of May 20th: 13.
  • Percentage of Black Americans in places reporting race data on COVID-19 deaths as of May 20th: 13.
  • Of Black Americans among COVID-19 deaths in those places: 27.
  • Portion of all Black-owned business revenues in the five US industries hardest-hit during the pandemic: 2/5.
  • Percentages of Black, Hispanic, and White Americans unable to pay at least one bill because of COVID-19: 27, 37, 17.
  • Percentages of nonelderly Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native people uninsured in 2018: 19, 22.
  • Of nonelderly Black, Asian American, and White people who were: 11, 8, 7.
  • Number of US workers in industries considered “essential” to the pandemic response: 55 million.
  • People of color as a percentage of those essential workers: 45.
  • Portion of incinerators located in lower income communities and/or communities of color: 8/10.
  • Estimated percentage increase in COVID-19 deaths associated with a small (1 microgram per cubic meter) increase in fine particulate matter: 15.
  • Date on which the Trump administration’s restrictions on travel from China took effect: February 2.
  • Number of travellers to the US from Italy, a COVID-19 hotspot, in February and March: 175,000.
  • Minimum number of times President Trump publicly referred to the “Chinese virus” between March 16 and March 30: 20.
  • Percentage of Asian Americans concerned about hate/discrimination towards Asian Americans related to the coronavirus pandemic: 75.
  • Date on which major news outlets started to announce the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color: April 7.
  • Date of the country’s first anti-lockdown protest, organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and the Michigan Freedom Fund: April 15.
  • Portion of Black Americans who believe that “Donald Trump pushed for reopening businesses once he learned that Black people were dying at a higher rate than White people”: 1/2.
  • Portion of Black Americans who would prefer to “hold off on reopening businesses until we can assure safety” (early-May): 4/5.
  • Portion of Latinos who believe that states should reopen “using a gradual phased-in approach based on the advice of scientists and health experts” (mid-May): 4/5.
  • Portion of Black Americans who “trust police to fairly and equally enforce rules about social distancing and wearing masks”: 2/5.
  • Who agree that “Black people are less likely than Whites to have everything done to save their lives in the hospital”: 3/5.
  • Percentage of Latinos in New York or New Jersey who know someone who wanted, but was unable to get, a coronavirus test: 39.
  • Of Latinos in Florida who do: 19.
  • Portion of Latino workers who agree that “my work places me at high risk of getting sick”: 1/4.
  • Share of White people who say the federal government has done a “good job” preventing the spread of COVID-19 (early-May): 1 in 2.
  • Share of people of color who say this: 1 in 3.

More COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers

April 2020 Edition