Black community leaders call for COVID-19 demographic data

A gloved shopper carries her purchases through the Target parking lot in northeast Jackson,...
A gloved shopper carries her purchases through the Target parking lot in northeast Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, April 8, 2020. African Americans in Mississippi are being disproportionately affected by the new coronavirus, and many have underlying health problems that make them more vulnerable to it, the state epidemiologist said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(GRAYDC)
Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 5:14 PM EDT

New information shows the coronavirus is having an especially deadly impact on the black community. Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, is calling on the government for more answers.

“This is affecting everyone, but its impact is disproportionate when it comes to African Americans,” said Morial. “In this country, transparency is important for us to understand and counteract the disease. We need the demographic data.”

Recent numbers from the Census Bureau show, in South Carolina, African Americans make up slightly more than a quarter of the population.

The latest statistics from the State Department of Health and Environmental Control show African Americans account for 46% of COVID-19 deaths and 38% of positive cases.

In Friday’s White House press briefing, U.S Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered the following explanation.

"The chronic burden of medical ills is likely to make people of color less resilient to the ravages of Covid-19 and it is possibly, in fact, likely, that the burden of social ills is also contributing," said Adams.

White House officials say there’s not much anyone can do at the moment.

But, as Congress works to pass more relief legislation, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) says he is continuing to search for solutions.

“I think more testing is always a good answer for understanding how this is impacting different communities and our nation as a whole."

The Urban League is rolling out a new campaign which aims to fight for fairness in economic relief, testing, and treatment.

Morial says the program is similar to the resources the Urban league provided during the Great Depression. More information about the Urban League Fights for You program can be found at

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