We’re collecting New York Times articles on COVID-19, race, and class to better understand how the media is accounting for the spread of the virus. We’ve noticed that some of these accounts leave out any mention of income or occupation, while others tend to conflate poverty with people of color.
Our research suggests that occupation and income are major factors in determining who is getting sick and who is dying. Race, clearly, is a critical factor, even more so when combined with lower-income occupations deemed “essential.” Being a recent immigrant from Latin America, especially an undocumented one, also is a powerful risk factor given the exclusion of that population from most public health services, as well as the necessity to work out of the home. And, of course, being over 65 years of age is a leading risk factor in addition to race, immigration status, and income.
More recently, we’ve noticed that more articles are mentioning the connections to income and occupation. This is a step in the right direction, but all of our work would be greatly enhanced if the government actually collected and released COVID-19 data on the incomes and occupations of those who have contracted the disease. It seems few want to say the obvious — if you are very well off financially, you are far more likely to be able to insulate yourself and your family from this deadly disease. Runaway inequality is a very big risk factor for us all.
COVID AND RACE
“A Terrible Price”: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America, NY Times, April 29, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/magazine/racial-disparities-covid-19.html
As Georgia Reopens, Virus Study Shows Black Residents May Bear Brunt, NY Times, April 30, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/health/coronavirus-georgia-african-americans.html?searchResultPosition=3
Coronavirus Killing Black Britons at Twice the Rate of Whites, NY Times, May 7, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/world/europe/coronavirus-uk-black-britons.html?searchResultPosition=6
Questions of Bias in Covid-19 Treatment Add to the Mourning for Black Families, NY Times, May 10, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/us/coronavirus-african-americans-bias.html
It’s Not Obesity,. It’s Slavery, NY Times, May 25, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/opinion/coronavirus-race-obesity.html?searchResultPosition=29
Gretchen Whitmer: The Coronavirus Is a Civil Rights Battle, Too, NY Times, June 2, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/opinion/gretchen-whitmer-coronavirus-george-floyd.html?searchResultPosition=3
Who Is Most Likely to Die From the Coronavirus?, NY Times, June 4, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/04/opinion/coronavirus-health-race-inequality.html?searchResultPosition=17
Ohio Lawmaker Asks Racist Question About Black People and Hand-Washing, NY Times, June 11, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/politics/steve-huffman-african-americans-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=9
Many Medical Decision Tools Disadvantage Black Patients, NY Times, June 17, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/health/many-medical-decision-tools-disadvantage-black-patients.html
Black Families Were Hit Hard by the Pandemic. The Effects on Children May Be Lasting, NY Times, July 1, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/parenting/coronavirus-black-children-inequality.html
The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequality of Coronavirus, NY Times, July 5, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/05/us/coronavirus-latinos-african-americans-cdc-data.html
Study of 17 Million Identifies Crucial Risk Factors for Coronavirus Death, NY Times, July 8, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/health/coronavirus-risk-factors.html?searchResultPosition=2
Medical Schools Have Historically Been Wrong on Race, NY Times, July 27, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/27/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-medicine-blackness.html?searchResultPosition=10
Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back, NY Times, July 28, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/magazine/pollution-philadelphia-black-americans.html
Racism’s Hidden Toll, NY Times, August 11, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/11/opinion/us-coronavirus-black-mortality.html?searchResultPosition=18
US racial inequality may be as deadly as COVID-19, pnas.org, August 24, 2020: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/36/21854
We Need to Recruit More Black Americans in Vaccine Trials, NY Times, September 11, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/opinion/vaccine-testing-black-americans.html?searchResultPosition=14
Studies Begin to Untangle Obesity’s Role in Covid-19, NY Times, September 29, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/29/health/covid-obesity.html?searchResultPosition=1
Now the President and Frontline Workers Have Something in Common, NY Times, October 3, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/opinion/sunday/latinos-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=2
I Won’t Be Used as a Guinea Pig for White People, NY Times, October 7, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/07/health/coronavirus-vaccine-trials-african-americans.html?searchResultPosition=4