Majority of deceased coronavirus patients in Detroit, Michigan are African American
07/06/2020 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

Researchers working in the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan have found that out of 141 intensive care unit (ICU) patients that have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), 80 percent needed mechanical ventilation and around 40 percent passed away within 30 days. Furthermore, around 75 percent of the deceased patients were African Americans. This racial disparity is most likely influenced by socioeconomic factors in Michigan.

As of press time, Michigan has 66,269 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,034 deaths. Around a third of these cases are located in Wayne County, which has had 21,793 cases and 2,670 deaths.

Majority of fatalities coming from Detroit's African American population

The study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, was conducted between March 9 to March 27, just as the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan was beginning, and involved 463 coronavirus patients in the Henry Ford Health System. The state announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on March 10.

Only 26.8 percent of the patients had a known exposure to somebody with COVID-19, which speaks to the virus' early, rapid and silent spread throughout the state.

The average age of the surveyed patients was 58 years old, and the researchers noted that being over the age of 60 sharply increased their chances of needing to be hospitalized and their risk of death. Two-hundred and fifty-nine of the patients were female; 72 percent were of African American descent. Nearly 64 percent of them had high blood pressure, while around 40 percent had either diabetes or chronic kidney disease.


Of the 463 patients, 77 percent required hospitalization, 60 percent developed severe shortness of breath and 40 percent required intensive care. Of the patients in the ICU, 80 percent had to be put on ventilators. Sixteen percent of the participants died of COVID-19 within 30 days of being seen by doctors. (Related: Overreliance on ventilators led to coronavirus deaths, study shows.)

A majority of the deaths were from male African Americans who were over 60 years old. While the proportion of men and women in the study is around the same (55 percent women), men were still three times more likely to succumb to the disease.

The team points out that the racial background of the patients did not affect mortality, but their age, sex and the “high presence of comorbidities and severe obesity” definitely did.

Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about how the medical industry in the United States is planning to use future COVID-19 vaccines in their plot to mass murder African Americans.

Socioeconomic factors heavily affected chances of hospitalization

While race may not have been a determining factor in mortality and survival, the authors are quick to point out that socioeconomic factors were heavily involved, and that these factors disproportionately affect African Americans.

These factors include employment in essential and lower wage jobs; higher rates of poverty; lack of access to private vehicles and reliance on public transportation to get to and from work; and crowded or unstable housing situations. These factors combined made strategies for preventing exposure to the coronavirus, such as social distancing, difficult to maintain.

They further mentioned that, in Michigan as of 2019, 27 percent of African Americans living in the state lived in poverty, compared to only 11 percent of white residents.

Furthermore, African American people only make up 14 percent of the population of Michigan. However, they represent 33 percent of the state's confirmed cases and 40 percent of the COVID-19 deaths.

In Detroit alone, 75 percent of all coronavirus fatalities are from people of African American descent, according to the city's Department of Health.

“These social determinants of health result in lack of health insurance and access to care, which may put patients at a disproportionately greater risk of acquiring infection and higher rates of complications from COVID-19,” wrote the researchers.

Early in April, the Democratic Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, established a task force to deal with the racial disparity in her state. Its main goal is to examine the inequality in the state's healthcare system and to recommend actions to address it.

As of press time, the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities is still working and studying the state's coronavirus response.

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