JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – For the first time, the Mississippi State Department of Health released new data that shows a significant disparity on how the coronavirus is affecting black and white Mississippians.
More than a third of the state’s population is African Americans. Figures show nearly three-quarters of those who have died from COVID-19 were African American.
Numbers also showed that more than half of the COVID-19 cases are in African Americans. Thirty-seven percent of those diagnosed are white, and seven percent are of another race.
State Epidemiologist Paul Byers said underlying conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart, lung and liver disease, are among the reasons why African Americans are dying at a higher rate.
Governor Tate Reeves didn’t announce a specific plan to address the disparity. He said, “We as a state and in rural areas have to work to address accessibility and affordability to the healthcare system.”
Congressman Bennie Thompson tweeted a statement about the racial gap in Mississippi when it comes to COVID-19: