Minneapolis’ Black Community Is Also Reeling From the Coronavirus

Pastor Brain Herron helped pass out masks to North Minneapolis residents in April.Jerry Holt/Getty

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As residents of Minneapolis mourn and protest the death of George Floyd, the city’s Black community is also reeling from the coronavirus. Just as Floyd’s killing by a white police officer has resurfaced the effects of structural racism, the virus’ disproportionate impact has highlighted the lack of equitable healthcare access and other risk factors that have made African Americans more vulnerable to COVID-19. 

As we have reported, in many states, Black Americans’ rates of infection and death have been much higher than their share of the population. Similarly, Minneapolis’ Black population has been disproportionately infected by the coronavirus. As of May 29, 34 percent of people who were infected with the virus in the city were Black, though only 18 percent of the city’s population is Black. While the city’s population is 64 percent white, 24 percent of those infected with the virus were white.

So far, 5,361 Black people have been infected by the virus in Minnesota. Minneapolis is one of six cities in the country where more than 10 percent of test results have come back as positive, according to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx

Commenting on the fires lit during last night’s protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said, “The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish.” The statistics above are another sign of the pain that continues to go untreated.  

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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