Dr. Stephen Thomas tells the Washington Post that racial disparities in Prince George's County aren't limited to COVID-19
Prince George's County, one of the nation's wealthiest majority-black counties, has reported the most coronavirus infections and some of the highest death tolls in the Washington region, The Washington Post reported. The data shows that death transcends class— black Americans are more likely than white Americans to contract and die from COVID-19.
But racial disparities in health statistics are not limited to COVID-19, Dr. Stephen Thomas told The Post. Thomas is head of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, and studies health disparities.
Thomas said that a black woman with a college degree is more likely to have her infant die before her first birthday than a white mother without a high school education. And black Americans often get, at age 45 or 50, the chronic illnesses that white Americans get at 65 or 70.
Health care tends to be less available in minority communities, Thomas said, and there is sometimes distrust of medical providers who have historically treated black and white patients differently.
"It's a function of how society treats you— whether you need to go to the hospital, or the ICU or need a ventilator," Thomas explained.
As of Sunday, there were 174 Prince George's County residents who have died of COVID-19.