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African Americans are affected by the coronavirus more than others, data shows

Several health officials say underlying health conditions in the African American community put them at greater risk of being hospitalized because of the virus.

TEXAS, USA — The Centers for Disease Control released new numbers Wednesday, showing the coronavirus is taking a greater toll on African Americans.

Their report says African Americans make up a third of people hospitalized with the disease, but only 12 percent of the U.S. population. While national data shows that African Americans are overwhelmingly dying from coronavirus in cities across the U.S., officials from the Bell County Health Department say the population of people impacted here is too small to classify by race and ethnicity.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health Department says they are working on releasing that data by the end of the week. So far the only person to die in McLennan County is Waco ISD middle school principal Phillip Perry.

"It just kind of reaffirms that we need to continue to use common sense and take precaution of this COVID-19 pandemic,” Travis Gibson, Mayor of Bellmead and close friend of Perry's said. “It took a good friend of mine away, but I know God makes no mistakes."

In places like Chicago, Georgia and Milwaukee, nearly 70 percent of virus-related fatalities are black.

"It's not that they're getting infected more often, it's when they do get infected, that their underlying medical conditions wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate," Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases said. 

Health issues that have loomed in the black community have done so for generations.

"The African American community, we have preexisting conditions such as obesity, such as asthma, such as diabetes, hypertension. I mean our communities are rampant with those things anyway. Now you compound it with this deadly disease, I mean it's not surprise that we're going get hit harder,” Dr. Frank K. Jones, President of the Atlanta Medical Association, said. 

As of Wednesday, Brazos County has 108 coronavirus cases. They released their racial disparity numbers on their website. 

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