One reason why coronavirus hits black people the hardest

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Toxic air can weaponize the coronavirus.

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Across the US, black people are dying from Covid-19 at disproportionately high rates. While there are many different factors at play behind the stark racial disparities — there’s one possible reason that’s been lurking in the air for decades: pollution.

The long history of segregation and housing discrimination has long put black people at greater risk of living near chemical plants, factories and highways, exposing them to higher levels of air pollutants. These pollutants have had a chronically negative impact on health, leading to conditions like hypertension and asthma. Now, those same diseases are associated with severe cases of Covid-19, and showing that where you live can determine whether you survive from Covid-19.

Read the full study on air pollution exposure and Covid-19 mortality: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid-pm

Read the study on historic redlining and emergency room visits due to asthma: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30241-4/fulltext

Read the study on Disparities in Distribution of Particulate Matter Emission Sources by Race and Poverty Status: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844406/

To learn more about the experiences of residents in St. John the Baptist Parish, check out the Concerned Citizens of St. John website: https://www.ccosj.com/

To learn more about some of the air pollution risks in the Midwest, check out the Environmental Law & Policy Center: http://elpc.org/. They also run an air monitoring site for Chicago that highlights some of these disparities: https://airqualitychicago.org/

Read more about Cancer Alley from ProPublica/ The Times-Picayune and The Advocate: https://www.nola.com/news/environment/article_49fe4540-f74a-11e9-8d20-eb0f97323b91.html
https://projects.propublica.org/louisiana-toxic-air/
And The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2019/may/06/cancertown-louisana-reserve-special-report

A lot of our data comes from the National Air Toxics Assessment Cancer Risk map, which you can check out through the EPA: https://ejscreen.epa.gov/mapper/

The Covid Tracking Project also regularly compiles Covid-19 data on race: https://covidtracking.com/race

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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Comments

Plus7Charisma says:

Clearly it's because the virus is systematically racist and oppressing black people.

iansteelmatheson says:

chart on PM2.5 distribution by race: "…1.5x more particle pollution than white people."
– black – 34.5 tons/year
– white – 18.5 tons/year
34.5/18.5 = 1.86. it's closer to 2

Divya Iyer says:

It’s so hard to process in our head… feel really bad for them.. how much they’ve to go through

THE G. says:

Murica is one big sad thing

Andrew says:

George bush hates black people

delor b says:

The day after this became public, Trump announced he wanted to reopen the country. This guy is the worst.

Joey Montanez says:

It couldn't be poverty and the fact blacks and Hispanics usually live in densely populated areas right on top of each other. Not saying pollution might not weaken your lungs or immune system,but I really don't think it's the main reason,or the one that needs to be focused on. Maybe they just can't afford to sit in their home doing nothing,getting their groceries delivered so they can sanitize them. It's hitting my people just as hard. And no doubt there's going to be more pollution in these communities, because they are usually large cities. I'm sure if you looked at black and brown communities that weren't in large cities,it'd either throw the curve off,or show you what some of the other factors are.

Ina O says:

But how about air pollution in China?

TK Evans says:

I think they’re looking for something

Arik Shalom says:

Did anybody just notice that was Oprah reporting?

emcdavee says:

African Americans*

RegentalWharf 53 says:

Ah yes, race

Grace Cheng says:

Hope yall have a nice day :)🥰

Dudu Gaming says:

Corona virus is racist

Vanilla Armstrong says:

Well it hit China hard.. Hardly any black people there🤔🙄 I just don't believe all that B's I'm sorry.

Cigar Brent says:

This is very sad but I'm sure pollution makes it to Magazine Street as well.

Saugato Bose says:

And we are made to believe that we live in a racism free world.

Tanah Tumpah Darahku says:

Racism is real. Donald Trump is just one them.

Pizza Gamerist says:

Bassicly a racist virus 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️

BLUEandWHITEishere says:

This sounds racist and legit.

Gonad The Barbarian says:

I use to work on an EMS Helicopter from a nearby area about 90 miles from there. I could ALWAYS tell when it had made a flight along that corridor due to a light brown film covering the aircraft. When I would come in that morning and see the brown film, I would tell my pilot, looks like you guy's had a trip to Baton Rouge during the night! Yep, sure enough! And this stuff was breathed by those residents daily!

Naftali Solomon says:

Vox makes good analysis on African Americans but intentionally ignored Palestinians.

Jeremiah Dang says:

I’m just saying if I called my friends African American they would laugh at me. Black is the word they prefer and to be specified as…

The Tutorialist says:

Is covid 19 white?

Elliott's Lab says:

All the time you think as black or White instead of just people the issue will never be solved

Rebeca Marte says:

this video would have been helpful yesterday when I was writing my anthro essay on why COVID-19 disproportionately affects black people 🙁

Unidentified User says:

I would thought it would be because they are less likely to wash their hands or be clean.

Eric H says:

Probably why trump let the virus find the US as a global outbreak zone

TehXygen says:

What about that vitamin D tho?

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