More than 80 percent of COVID-19 patients in Georgia were Black

Researchers suggest public officials should consider racial differences when planning COVID-19 prevention activities

Black people praying
Black people praying (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 80% of patients hospitalized in the state of Georgia were African American.

“It is important to continue ongoing efforts to understand the reasons for these racial disparities, including the role of socioeconomic and occupational factors in transmission,” the researchers wrote. “Public officials should consider racial differences among patients affected by COVID-19 when planning prevention activities.”

READ MORE: Georgia reports 100 coronavirus deaths in last 48 hours

The study continues to demonstrate that the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting African Americans. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there have been over 26,000 cases of coronavirus and 1,112 deaths.

Senior Black men

Senior Black men (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

The research shows that the median age in Georgia was 60. Most people had private insurance or Medicare. The research did not give the exact reason why so many Black people are dying from the virus. However, factors such as underlying conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease could be contributing factors. As well as a greater risk of exposure including working in essential jobs, lack of transportation, and living in close quarters to others in private homes and nursing homes.

Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp moved to reopen the state last week allowing nonessential businesses to open. Tattoo parlors, gyms, and hair salons were some of the businesses allowed to resume business last week while restaurants were allowed to resume dine-in service this week.

READ MORE: Georgia suspends road test requirements for driver’s licenses

Kemp’s move earned him strong chastisement from President Donald J. Trump. In a press conference, he said, “I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia. They’re incredible people. I love those people. They are — they’re great. They’ve been strong, resolute.”

Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also disagreed with the early reopening, calling the move “premature.” Mayor Bottoms told The Daily Show that while she disagrees with the Republican leader, “I hope I’m wrong and he’s right. Because if he’s wrong, people will die.”