African American Communities Being Affected Disproportionately By COVID-19

 
Sharon Hancock, left, and Shelia Theresa Adams pose for a portrait as they wait for the bus after visiting a friend in downtown Joliet, Ill., Monday, April 6, 2020. Chicago's mayor says the city is launching a health campaign focused on black and brown communities. Mayor Lori Lightfoot's comments Monday follow a WBEZ report highlighting the disproportionate number of black residents among those who have died of COVID-19 complications in the city.

Sharon Hancock, left, and Shelia Theresa Adams pose for a portrait as they wait for the bus after visiting a friend in downtown Joliet, Ill., Monday, April 6, 2020. Chicago's mayor says the city is launching a health campaign focused on black and brown communities. Mayor Lori Lightfoot's comments Monday follow a WBEZ report highlighting the disproportionate number of black residents among those who have died of COVID-19 complications in the city.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In a recent racial analysis, Black Chicagoans are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

In Monday’s press conference, Mayor Lightfoot announced the racial breakdown that more than half of the coronavirus cases in Cook county are black, 70% in Chicago.

According to 2018 U.S. census figures on Chicago, 68% of bus drivers are black; 48% of food service workers are Latino; 78% of childcare workers are black and Latino; and 72% of cleaners are black and Latino.

The cooks, the grocery store workers and bus drivers are more vulnerable to weathering the economic devastation brought on by the current health crisis, which will widen the racial wealth gap, experts say. And nationally, it’s the same. Higher wage workers that are more likely to work from home are likely to be white.

Guests: Natalie Moore, Reporter from WBEZ Chicago's Race, Class and Communities Desk. Greg Kelley, President of Service Employees International Union Helthcare fo Illinois and Indiana.