Black communities hit harder by coronavirus in Michigan, not just Detroit

 

Residents of Michigan communities with large African-American populations are disproportionately sickened and killed by the coronavirus, according to a Bridge Magazine analysis of public health data.

Detroit, which is 79 percent African American, has 7 percent of Michigan’s population but 26 percent of the state’s infections and 25 percent of its deaths.

The outbreak so far is centered in southeast Michigan, as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb have 80 percent of the state’s 9,334 cases as of Wednesday. Bridge’s analysis of public records shows:

  • In suburban Wayne County, communities with the largest black populations — Highland Park, Redford Township, Ecorse, River Rouge and Romulus — have roughly double the rate of infection as the county.
  • In Oakland County, infection rates are highest in majority-black Southfield and suburbs with higher-than-average black populations: Lathrup Village, West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills.
  • In Macomb County, nearly 35 percent of all infections were among African Americans, who comprise less than 15 percent of the county’s population. County maps show the most cases are in southern Macomb including Warren, Eastpointe and Roseville, all of which have a higher percentage of African-American residents.
 

“There is no question that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a more significant effect on marginalized and poorer communities, particularly communities of color,” Michigan's chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, told Bridge.

But it’s not just lower-income communities that suffer: Higher-income neighborhoods of northwest Detroit are hit hard, as are upper-middle-class suburbs in Oakland County, according to Bridge’s analysis.

The analysis compared available data on coronavirus cases reported by ZIP code in Oakland County and by community in Wayne County with census data. Macomb County initially released demographic data on coronavirus patients, but has since stopped and now publishes only a map of hotspots.

Bridge’s analysis was limited because neither the state nor federal government has released information on the race of those with the virus.

That’s a concern to experts who are worried about coronavirus spikes in large communities of color such as Chicago, Milwaukee and New Orleans. Withholding such information makes forming a response harder, according to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, both Massachusetts Democrats, and other lawmakers who are demanding more demographic information.

“Any attempt to contain COVID-19 in the United States will have to address its potential spread in low-income communities of color, first and foremost to protect the lives of people in those communities, but also to slow the spread of the virus in the country as a whole,” Warren wrote in a letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, told Bridge more information is necessary.

“We need to know the impact on African Americans. What is the impact on the black community? Do we have a crisis?” Lawrence said. 

“If we see based on data that certain demographics or certain areas in our communities are affected more than others, it gives us the ability to dive in and to bring in the resources to stop the spread.”

Both Oakland County (left) and Macomb County have seen higher rates of confirmed coronavirus cases in areas with higher percentages of African Americans, most along the southern border shared with Detroit.

‘Urban epicenter’ or something else?

The crisis is so new and so devastating that finding definitive answers could take months or years. Experts say there is no reason to believe African Americans are more susceptible to acquiring the coronavirus.

Instead, the virus in Michigan may have begun in metro Detroit — perhaps through Detroit Metro Airport — and spread from the city to suburbs. What’s more, experts caution, a lack of testing means the virus' spread may be understated in predominantly white communities in the northern suburbs.

Dr. Vikas Parekh, associate chief clinical officer for the University of Michigan’s adult hospitals, said the virus is spreading across Michigan in an “urban epicenter model” of infection.

“It spreads out of a dense urban environment and then radiates from there. And so it started in the Detroit metro area as a dense urban environment, radiating out very similar to what we see in New York and other areas,” he said.

And while maps showing the concentration of the virus in Michigan would confirm that belief, there are numerous exceptions.

Although Detroit has the highest concentration of cases, several suburbs that surround the city have low rates of coronavirus including Dearborn, Melvindale and Grosse Pointe Park. 

All are predominantly white. 

Tlaib said “it is very clear that structural racism is showing its ugly face during this global pandemic.”

“It is communities of color, especially the African-American community in my district, that you see getting directly impacted,” she said.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist, said even if it was made public, existing data on coronavirus may not illustrate the full effect in communities of color.

“We're testing only people who come in with severe disease,” said El-Sayed, the former health director of the City of Detroit who ran for governor in 2018 as a Democrat.

“Frankly, I think that we would be very much underestimating the burden that this disease has in low-income communities and communities of color.”

Within Detroit, the hotspots of the virus are virtually city-wide in a city that is nearly 80 percent African American.

‘People are dying’

The coronavirus has already devastated Detroit, infecting more than 2,400 people and killing community leader Marlowe Stoudamire, Detroit Police Capt. Jonathan Parnell and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Donafay Collins. The virus is suspected in the death of state Rep. Isaac Robinson.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Highland Park Police Chief Hilton Napoleon and state Rep. Tyrone Carter all have contracted the virus.

All are black except Robinson.

“All the people I’ve known so far — 80 percent that I know that have passed away [from coronavirus] — have been black males,” Carter said.

But several Detroiters told Bridge that the city is being accused of spreading the virus in part because of a handful of social media videos that showed residents congregating long after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued stay-at-home orders.

Though it’s true African Americans have been hit harder, it’s mixing with old suburban animosities and it’s “turning into racist stuff,” said DeMeeko Williams, a Detroit activist.

“People keep saying black parties spread this. [In fact,] the government was unprepared,” said Williams, who has four friends and relatives who have died of the virus.

“I guess black lives don’t really matter. If people are dying more in Detroit, maybe that’s why there is more attention.” 

As of Wednesday, 83 people have died in Detroit, a city of 670,000. Oakland County, which has nearly twice the population, has 99 deaths.

Several epidemiologists and public health experts told Bridge that releasing data on coronavirus cases could help target resources, but others warned it could harm communities of color. 

The possibility that “this data could then be used to further discriminate ... is really something that we should be thinking about,” said Melissa Creary, an assistant professor of health policy at the University of Michigan. 

“It’s the threat of being able to link those patterns to whole populations and create a narrative of fear, unworthiness or uncleanliness, whatever it may be, that’s really the part we want to avoid.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the media has unfairly put the city in the spotlight. 

“It’s been kind of disturbing to me to see stories written about ‘Why is Detroit a hotspot?’ with all kinds of theories about poverty and people not taking care of their health,” Duggan said Wednesday.

“One of the wealthiest communities in New York, New Rochelle, had the first major outbreak on the East Coast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts — a very well-off county — has a significant outbreak of coronavirus.”

Poorest hit hardest

Although African Americans are likely not inherently more susceptible to getting the virus, many health experts said underlying health issues could make symptoms worse.

“African Americans have historically been more likely to have higher rates of chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer in the United States,” Khaldun said. 

“We know that people with these underlying medical conditions are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.”

Michigan announced orders closing restaurants and encouraging social distancing in mid-March.

But it didn’t begin advertising its “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order on Detroit television, radio stations and newspapers that serve African-American audiences until March 29.

That was 19 days after the state confirmed its first cases of the coronavirus. By then, Detroit already had more than 1,500 cases.

State radio advertisements about the stay-at-home order in Arabic and Spanish are expected to start this week.

The cause of the delay is unclear but it’s likely because the state was scrambling to respond to the virus, said Brenda Jegede, director of the Office of Equity and Minority Health for Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. 

Others said the message among African Americans has been blunted because churches have closed amid the crisis.

“We don’t have that channel available to us right now,” said Bill Nowling, a spokesman for Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and recently recovered from the coronavirus. 

Matthew Seeger, a communications professor at Wayne State University who has worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said public health officials must tailor messages to different audiences by using different media.

He said Whitmer, Duggan and Evans have done an “exceptional job” so far.

Even with the messaging, self-isolation and social distancing can be difficult for those who don’t have money or space for three weeks of food or need public transportation, said Linda Smith, executive director of the U-SNAP-BAC housing nonprofit in Detroit.

Many low-income people have jobs without paid sick time, or are uninsured and may be hesitant to seek health care due to costs. 

“There’s a truism in epidemiology that the poorest and most marginalized people in any society are always going to get hit hardest by the health challenges that a society faces,” said El-Sayed, the former city health director.

“They’re starting to bear out in the pattern of this disease.”

— Bridge reporters Robin Erb, Louis Aguilar and Kelly House contributed to this article.

RESOURCES:

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Wayne Koper
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:30pm

"That woman" should seek forgiveness from Trump so he can save us.

Faith
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:49am

Wrong. Trump put the response squarely on the States and now his early denial and bungled actions are competing with the State's ability to obtain PPE for our health care workers. The federal government finally passed legalisation that will finally help us Michiganders.

Ask forgiveness? How about a president doing their damn job.

Todd
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:33pm

You obviously have no clue how this works.

Carol
Thu, 04/09/2020 - 10:55am

You’re right. It’s their job, not the president’s. And the president took early action, while Pelosi and her gain called him racist for doing so. Get the facts

Matt
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 7:39am

This doesn't seem to carry in W Michigan.?

Ren Farley
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:42am

Thank you very much for your important and interesting essay about the apparent link between the percent African American in a municipality and the incidence of corona virus. It is important to bring attention to this issue.
The Census Bureau's ACS provides information about each of the municipalities listed in the three counties along with information about the percent of people age 25 and over with a college degree. Is the incidence of corona virus also linked to the per capita income of muncipality and its educational level? If you need those numbers from the most recent ACS, please let me know.

Donna
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 3:12am

IT Was reported that a white woman brought the virus to Detroit after her international trip. Now the black neighborhoods are being blamed for her carelessness.

duane
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:33am

Your simple remark made pause and look at this article with a bit different perspective and that raised many questions.
Should I be surprised that the reporters and editors can't see beyond southeast Michigan? Should I be concerned that such a bias can distort reporting? Should I wonder if being geographically biased can extend into political and social biases? Should I wonder if Bridge even looks at itself [its articles] to ensure there aren't biases or the potential of perceived biases in the articles? Should I be concerned that social/geographic biases could influence the questions reporters/editors ask and bias the information available? Should I wonder why we don't see information about other influencers, education, work roles/responsibilities, family structure, etc.?

I do wonder if Bridge has any structural/protocols that regularly disciplined reviews/assessments of reporting to ensure that internal biases aren't impacting reporting/what reader learn from Bridge's services.

Matt
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 1:48pm

Duane, If you take out the 3 or 4 extreme SE Mi counties the entire story changes and loses it's impact! Yes, you can't help wondering about this. But this comes from Bridges own map.

Joel Kurth
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 2:05pm

Hi thanks for the inquiry.

 

we looked at SE Michigan because 80 percent of the cases are there, and because the 3 counties list cases by municipality, unlike other areas of Michigan 

duane
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:53pm

Joel,
Should the whole of the analysis and response in Michigan developed around the numbers in 3 counties? Wouldn't it seem reasonable to take into consideration the social and business nature of each county? I wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate to identify the various concerns, such as people congregating in social settings, people frequenting businesses, individual personal separation, personal practices, testing criteria and reporting [collecting information about personal practices [smoking, drinking, working] that impact their lungs, medical facility and care assessment, etc., and ask each county to develop their care plan to address such concerns and review it with the state rather then leave it to the state or federal government prescribe how each county and municipality must provide Covid 19 care.

Ben W. Washburn
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:36pm

Joel: I see that this article has spurred more than the usual assortment of highly bigoted responses. Here's my take. Firstly, most hard- working African-Americans work mainly in the personal services fields, which is where close person-to-person contact is more likely to occur. That's how this disease is mainly transmitted. Secondly, and this is just my experience, when African-Americans meet and greet one another, they hug. They do this a whole lot more than whites. On the one hand, it's an admirable human transaction; on the other hand, this is exactly how this disease is so quickly spread. But, who in the African-American communities had been advised or admonished two or three weeks ago to stop greeting one another this way?

Offthepink
Wed, 04/08/2020 - 7:48pm

We ALL were told to not engage in close quarters behavior with others. For WEEKS. It's been all over the news, DAILY. I'm black, blue collar worker, and I've been seeing it for months now. Of course, if the only time you watch the news or read the paper is to see how your favorite basketball or football teams are doing, you're gonna miss some important stuff. If the only thing you look at on the internet is stupid "internet challenges" or videos of girls wilding out and fighting in public on worldstar, you WILL miss important information. I have the news on while I get ready for work every morning, and somehow, I was able to get the word to stay 6 feet from others before February, yet most of black america somehow didn't get the word. Where the hell were the rest of you guys LOOKING??

duane
Thu, 04/09/2020 - 10:03am

We have added wearing filtering masks when grocery shopping [a third to half of the shoppers at Meijer and Aldi's were also wearing masks].

Ranublue
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:41am

Southwest Detroit is not having problems? Hispanic live there. People of color. When aids came out, it became a black disease. This is a Great Country!!

ND
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:09pm

Beg to differ; when AIDS came out it was actually called GRID (Gay Related Immuno Defiency) and is still unfairly considered a gay disease but it's also associated with intravenous drug users and a risk of ALL sexually active people.

Daryl Atchison
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:45am

Grow up "WAYNE" your FAKE leader just can't lead. Maybe we should check his birth records.

Barb
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:57am

This is the first time I've seen covid-19 material presented in this way. It helps to know which communities have infections - and it is also a helpful resource for choosing charities directly contributing to the safety of those people who are at risk.

Thank you so much for this information.

Steve Gold (Dir...
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:09am

A sobering, though hardly unexpected analysis. I sketched a quick back-of-an-envelope graph of % black (x-axis) vs. Covid-19 incidence rate (y-axis) for Oakland County and saw the nearly linear association. I was struck, though, by two anomalies: Higher than expected incidence in West Bloomfield and lower than expected incidence in Pontiac. These data may reflect a relatively high screening rate in the wealthy community (more reflective of the actual reality) and a relatively low screening rate in the impoverished community (masking the actual reality there). As in so much Covid-19 data, we must acknowledge the confounding effect of delayed, inadequate, and socially-determined screening.

Steve Gold (Dir...
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:09am

A sobering, though hardly unexpected analysis. I sketched a quick back-of-an-envelope graph of % black (x-axis) vs. Covid-19 incidence rate (y-axis) for Oakland County and saw the nearly linear association. I was struck, though, by two anomalies: Higher than expected incidence in West Bloomfield and lower than expected incidence in Pontiac. These data may reflect a relatively high screening rate in the wealthy community (more reflective of the actual reality) and a relatively low screening rate in the impoverished community (masking the actual reality there). As in so much Covid-19 data, we must acknowledge the confounding effect of delayed, inadequate, and socially-determined screening.

Me from Mi
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:11am

That African Americans tend to have a higher incidence of covid19 could be that they tend to do a better job at taking care of the elderly family members with multi-generational households. Just my opinion.

Crystal
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:38am

I appreciate your insight into the cultural familial structure. Other than close living situations, your point is likely why Italy and China had such intense spreading rates! Generations and generations of a family may live in the same household, as it is culturally accepted there.

Usual Excuses
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:23am

I love how it's because of racism that more African Americans are infected instead of them not following basic social distancing instructions that were ordered by the Governor.

Always somebody else's fault........

Anonymous
Sun, 04/05/2020 - 9:21am

Who bought it to the black communities? A white person@ just like with aids! A white gay airline assistant patient zero Gaetin Dugas. but whites did the Sam thing they're doing now with this virus by trying to put a blackface on it! Out of the 66,000 deaths world wide, with 50,000 Of those deaths being in Europe.and 8,000 in the US. they should be fair in reporting especially the CDC and give us a number of how many whites have died out of 8,000 fatalities plain and simple. No one's shifting blame here,just poiting out bias in reporting! Take Africa for example. A continent with 54 countries,but the lowest in cases,and fatalities worldwide! Only 116 fatalities,and barley any in the Caribbeans! They great each other and Interact with each other just like blacks in do in the US. another question is,why are their numbers so low a d what we black Americans can do different to lower fatalities in our communities.

Kevin Grand
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:28am

"Although African Americans are likely not inherently more susceptible to getting the virus, many health experts said underlying health issues could make symptoms worse.

“African Americans have historically been more likely to have higher rates of chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer in the United States,” Khaldun said.

“We know that people with these underlying medical conditions are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.”"

Instead of burying this at the end of the article, maybe you should've lead with it.

The CDC & WHO have already stated that people with co-morbidities will be the most affected.

The overwhelming majority will only experience moderate to no symptoms.

Bones
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:38am

It's everyone's favorite r̶a̶c̶i̶s̶t̶ libertarian, here to willfully ignore structural racism and the attendant poverty that it engenders

dbpage
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:34am

Let's not make this a racial issue. Let's make this a geographical and population density issue.

Anonymous
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 1:40pm

It seems the issues may extend beyond geography and population density. A great example currently is Montgomery County Maryland compared to Prince George County Maryland. These counties are similar in size and population and are neighboring counties. Montgomery County is more populated with a little over a million residents and has an area of 507 square miles. Prince George County is about the same size (a little smaller with 499 square miles) and has a lower population with just a little under a million residents. Prince George County is 70% black, while black Americans account for 20% of the population in Montgomery. Both have about the same amount of cases, in the 400’s, with Prince George County reporting a slightly lesser number of cases. But, even with the slightly less number of cases, Prince George county has more reported deaths with 7 reported compared with 1 in Montgomery County. The disparities should be looked into further. Are the hospitals equally equipped? Are the supplies equitably distributed? Are the people in these areas taking social distancing as serious? Is the word getting out to them? Governor Gretchen Whitmer needs to look into this as well as the president. It needs to made sure that all of our citizens are being taken care of during this.

Larry Good
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:58am

A well done analysis. I also saw the anomalies in the Oakland County data, particularly Pontiac data not fitting the hypothesis and wonder what that means. Nearby in Genesee County, the rate of infection is a lot lower than in SE Michigan (though I've not seen Flint vs. out-county breakouts there) and you'd expect it to be higher with this hypothesis. One pattern that seems clear around the country is that hot spots are occurring in densely populated cities and suburbs. In Illinois, 90 percent of the cases are in Cook County, similar to the 80 percent in Southeastern Michigan.

Crystal
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:27am

We are all humans. We are all people. Close contact spreads the virus, not the color of our skins. The concerns of a pandemic need to address the species as a whole. HUMANS.

As I sit in self-isolation and my county’s infection rate increases, I could care less about what the people look like. I keep everyone around the globe in my prayers, for this Earthly challenge belongs to everyone.

What I would find helpful to know is the location/city/village in my county that the infected persons lived, to help me avoid possibly the grocery store that they shopped at.

Dee
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:50am

Guess this indicate blacks are more susceptible

Crystal
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:51am

Since ‘Bridge’ is supposed to be an unbiased news source, would your writers and editors continue with unbiased headlines? (Ex: African American Communities, instead of Black Communities.)

Why is separatism an issue during a worldwide crisis? It’s 2020, not 1960.

We are all humans. We need to come together and help each other.

Anonymous
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:12am

Umm, do you suppose it might be because the S.E. part of the state is predominately black?

Anom
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:20pm

Umm, the only area that is predominately African American in SE Mich is Detroit. SE Mich encompasses at least 7 if not more counties.

Anonymous
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:17am

This is not just disproportionately impacting black communities in Michigan but across the United States in New Orleans, Albany GA, Chicago, Prince George County Maryland, Milwaukee, Charlotte NC, etc. The first ten people who died in Milwaukee for example, were black. It seems that the areas that have been impacted the most and have the highest death rates are the ones that have the highest percentage of African American residents. This disparity is not limited to the coronavirus. Black women —of all socio-economic backgrounds — compared to white women are 3-6 times more likely to die giving birth. But the covid19 is the pressing issue right now. Leaders need to do more to figure out the reason for the disparities and make sure that hospitals in these communities are equipped with the right staff and equipment. More so, get the word and supplies out so that people in these communities continue with social distancing and protecting themselves.

water2Wine
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:33am

Consider please that an element of prevention to getting this disease is to "wash your hands". Some of the Black Communities of S.E. Michigan have had their water turned off because they can't afford to pay their water bills. The fact that in the Great Lakes State, humbly surrounded by fresh water, has been deigning people of color fresh drinking water, is abhorrent! What will you do when your fresh water is full of oil? You really live on the edge don't you there in Michigan.

Sam Stewart
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 12:46pm

How about get a job and pay for the water instead of being a freeloader of the back of other taxpayers??

Jb
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:44am

This article or analysis is very inaccurate and I feel very disrespectful. For 1 the cities that you are naming are not predominantly African American they are very diverse with many other races besides African Americans. There is maybe 10 cities that you named predominantly African American with the obvious being Detroit, Highland Park, Southfield and Inkster. I know people who weren’t even tested but were told they had it off of 2 symptoms. How is that accurate. Why is there even a study to try to prove a narrative of which race is getting covid-19 more than another. I’ve never seen a study to show about the Caucasian race getting sick or dying let alone there race being named it’s always African Americans. This article was just inaccurate, unnecessary, distasteful and disrespectful. Covid-19 has no age, gender or RACE. It’s affecting everyone and everybody should be safe.

Austin Williams
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 1:00pm

Why did you write such a dumb article? More white people have the corono virus and thats a fact. Dont just outcast black people like that because Im tired of the media out casting our power black people. Most people are insured because of Obama care did you forget? Keep writing fony statistics.

Ken
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 2:08pm

Instead, the virus in Michigan may have begun in metro Detroit — perhaps through Detroit Metro Airport — and spread from the city to suburbs.
Smh at author

Author clearly doesn't know MI to state this comment, 1st let me point out that Detroit metro airport is in the suburban area, its in Romulus, mi not Detroit so if it started at the airport means it started in Romulus, mi than made it way to the city from the burbs.

Anybody that knows a detroiter knows most are scared or not legitimate enough to cross the urban/suburban borders because racism/profiling.

Note to author do some real research before pointing a finger because it's more arabic/ foreigners/whites that come to detroit to work, than it is blacks going to the suburbs so if anything, you guys are more like to bring the disease to detroit not vice versa.

GoBlue
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:00pm

Maybe it’s vitamin D deficiency. Individuals with darker skin typically have lower levels of vitamin d especially those who live in cooler climates in the north. We need data and research on this asap. Someone get on this!

L. Hedgecock
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:22pm

While interesting and grounds for further research, your article draws a conclusion not warranted by the facts--at least not yet. You didn't look at other factors, such as obesity, poverty, and dense living conditions in those hard hit zip codes. Also, not sure that the southern part of W. Bloomfield demographics can be considered equivalent to Southfield.

Erma McMillan
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:23pm

I believe these health differences existed before this pandemic, and when it passes, I hope the interest in the health of these people will become a study on how to equal the chances of all our citizens.

duane
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 12:55am

Erma,
Help me understand what health differences existed, are you suggesting that their is a biological difference based on the ethnicity of people, that blacks as a group are more susceptible to viruses than Asians, Hispanics, northern Europeans, etc.? If so what suggests this, is there data that indicates a difference in susceptibility to other viruses such as N1H1, MERS, SARS? Otherwise couldn't it be that social practices could be a more likely factor?
What if the reason the rural counties have lower numbers or zero are because there is less social contact, that the local culture trends to individual isolation, or could it be population density is a significant factor in the degree of exposure?
If the medical professionals are emphasizing disciplined testing of medical treatments before broad prescription then shouldn't we emphasize discipline studying to identify the factors that increase exposure? This is especially true when ethnicity is raise as a reason for infections, how many time in the past has ethnicity been suggested as factor in physical capability when it has been wrong?

Veruca
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:47pm

I don't understand why there was no mention of the rumor "Blacks can't get "Rona" -- this baloney circulated for weeks during the beginning of the crisis well into the 4th week of March. The fact that many people believed it and continued to socialize is now having gruesome results.

Eric
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:05pm

HBP and diabetes are why the virus is so deadly in Italy. Business Insider did a study on the death numbers corresponding to each: 75% and 35%.

Jerome Mack
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:14pm

Black people dont this seriously lol. They're out having house parties drinking with eachother out of the same bottle. It's got nothing to do with low income. Y'all are retarded

Downriver Bill
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 7:20pm

Well, well, well. That took less time than I thought. The Democrat reps believe either the virus is racist or its a racist plot against black people. It couldn't be that Detroit residents are STILL not social distancing and getting tickets for playing sports in parks. No! This virus is racist! It also couldn't be that most of Detroit's residents live in apartments or with multiple family members which increases the risk of infection. Nope! It's a racist plot!
Just once I would love to see my representatives do something besides play politics with everything. People are dying ffs!

Nina Anderson , MD
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:21pm

The point of entry into the cell for this virus is the angiotensin converting enzyme. There are differences in response to medications used treating hypertension in African American patients , with calcium channel blockers working better in this patient group than the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. I believe differences in the numbers of angiotensin converting enzyme receptor and responsiveness of them needs to be looked at in this patient population as it pertains to the virus infection rate and severity of viral infection.

Barb
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:36pm

This is the first time I've seen covid-19 material presented in this way. It helps to know which communities have infections - and it is also a helpful resource for choosing charities directly contributing to the safety of those people who are at risk.

Thank you so much for this information.

Elise
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:02am

Stop trying to start a race war and divide people further in a pandemic this article is very biased and irresponsible they fail to point out that the reason there are more cases in the black community is because they live in more densely populated areas, public transit in these areas, more likely to live in multigenerational households (like Italy) and the reason the death toll is higher is unfortunately a higher incident of underlying conditions (Hypertension, diabetes, kidney and heart disease) in African Americans not racist just the facts. This is irresponsible to not include these factors in the article and to blame it on some underlying racism

Matt
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:25am

The only large groups I've been seeing (blatantly ignoring social distancing) are black which is seen almost daily. Also noticed the same groups leaving multiple times in the afternoons, with the rate of occurrence I highly doubt these are essential trips. All it's going to take is one person in their group of friends to catch this and the number is going to jump.

Andrew Maxwell
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:55am

Consider that the same population that is being hit hard by the virus is the same population with the highest percentage of crime, along with alcohol and drug abuse. The same people who have disregard for laws are most likely to disregard the governor's orders on satying home, hand washing and social distancing.

Bones
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:44am

I'm amazed (well, not that amazed) at how intensely Bridge's readership will deny the reality of structural racism and the concrete impact it has on the health and well-being of the minorities it affects.

Tom
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:08pm

People with darker skin produce noticeably less vitamin D. Everyone produces less in the Winter. The British Medical Journal published a study in 2017 that included 11,000 people about levels of vitamin D and the ability of the body to resist respiratory infections.

Mel G
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:11pm

Why does everything have to be booked down to black or white. We know that people with underlying conditions are more susceptible. Areas they don't follow social distancing and excellent hygiene are more susceptible. And it's obvious it came through major airport hubs just by looking a a small part of the data. If 20 something % are asymptomatic, and can spread it for up to 14 days, and you cannot get tested without symptoms. This virus is already everywhere, testing ones with symptoms first seems foolish. When you have symptoms lock down. It's the asymptomatic that's should be cause for alarm meaning the unsick should be tested first to allow for more effective quarantine. Anyone with any symptoms should automatically quarantine without question. All of the public should be wearing masks too as a preventative measure. Shouldn't we assume 100% of us have it and then work back to isolate who actually has it? Whackamole with hotspots will always be one step behind and with the nature of this virus, it is something we cannot afford. Time is of critical importance here.

Mel G
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:39pm

Man look at all those dead blacks in Spain and Italy. I just can't believe it. This has nothing to do with race. It exploded at metro cities near large airports. Detroit is predominantly black versus white, would it not show that a large portion of infected there be black? It will spread, were 14 days minimum behind in tracking this virus. Fighting amongst ourselves is so counterproductive. It originated in china, was not contained and the ccp covered it up until it was unable to do so anymore. If you want to blame anyone blame the authoritarian Chinese government. Focus should be on EVERYONE doing their part in not spreading it. The best choice is to assume your asymptomatic and wear a mask. That will mitigate spread. If you show symptoms then seek a test and treatment otherwise the best course of action would be to assume we all have it until proven otherwise.

Mel G
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:39pm

Man look at all those dead blacks in Spain and Italy. I just can't believe it. This has nothing to do with race. It exploded at metro cities near large airports. Detroit is predominantly black versus white, would it not show that a large portion of infected there be black? It will spread, were 14 days minimum behind in tracking this virus. Fighting amongst ourselves is so counterproductive. It originated in china, was not contained and the ccp covered it up until it was unable to do so anymore. If you want to blame anyone blame the authoritarian Chinese government. Focus should be on EVERYONE doing their part in not spreading it. The best choice is to assume your asymptomatic and wear a mask. That will mitigate spread. If you show symptoms then seek a test and treatment otherwise the best course of action would be to assume we all have it until proven otherwise.

John Blow
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 7:30pm

I think there is a close correlation between poor outcome with China's Wuhan coronavirus 2019 and an inability to delay instant gratification. People need to self quarantine, those who do not do so will suffer.

Ignorance at al...
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:05pm

This type of headline is why Michigan is on the decline. We are too focused on pointing fingers and assigning blame to pull together on any issue, be it bringing our schools and workforce to 21st Century standards, modernizing infrastructure or even fighting a pandemic.

Should have known we wouldn’t make it through a week before the racist click bait would resume. Last week the virus was dubbed the China Virus, now race mongers in our media are blaming other populations.

Ethnicity is not a virus.

Anonymous
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 7:54am

Basketball is not that important. Stay home!

Deannachich
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:55pm

Boys who want to get to know each other. http://eskorttr.info/ There are my photos here.
I'm naked there

NICODEMUS SLADE
Sun, 04/05/2020 - 8:57am

please to the same models for whites nationwide

Lori Ferrie
Sun, 04/05/2020 - 11:08am

Maybe it had something to do with Biden and Sanders running around downtown Detroit on March 9 and 10 holding campaign rallies? I wonder why chose to hold these rallies and then, subsequently and the next day, March 11 - they cancelled their Ohio rallies because it was too dangerous. Seems to me Trump was on par to win more of the black vote this election and Dems needed another reason to point the finger and say he doesn't care about black people and their needs.

duane
Mon, 04/06/2020 - 9:14am

Lori,
That would suggest those campaign organizations [and even candidates] weren't watching the reporting about the virus or weren't taking it seriously or that they weren't thinking and only waiting for the President to tell them what to do or not to do.
The points you raise does also could leave the impression that the campaigns only look for how their actions may benefit them and make no effort to consider what the unintended consequences of their actions might be. Did they campaigns consider the mass event could feed the spread of Covid 19 in Detroit/Michigan.
Effective risk assessment/management involves identifying the risks both the immediate risks and the potential risks associated with planned actions. It is important not to let the 'cure [our actions] don't make the illness worse.'

duane
Mon, 04/06/2020 - 9:14am

Lori,
That would suggest those campaign organizations [and even candidates] weren't watching the reporting about the virus or weren't taking it seriously or that they weren't thinking and only waiting for the President to tell them what to do or not to do.
The points you raise does also could leave the impression that the campaigns only look for how their actions may benefit them and make no effort to consider what the unintended consequences of their actions might be. Did they campaigns consider the mass event could feed the spread of Covid 19 in Detroit/Michigan.
Effective risk assessment/management involves identifying the risks both the immediate risks and the potential risks associated with planned actions. It is important not to let the 'cure [our actions] don't make the illness worse.'

Joshua
Thu, 04/09/2020 - 6:43pm

It has nothing to do with race viruses are not racist if you go to large barbeques or play basketball in large groups white black brown or whatever color it will get you STAY HOME whatever color you are it is what it is