Behind 1 million COVID deaths: sacrifice of marginalized, disadvantaged social groups in US

2022-May-22 23:23 By:

By Wang Xinyuan

Up to May 2022, 1 million people in the US have died from COVID, reaching a tragic milestone. Coronavirus has posed a deadly risk to everyone over the past two years, but technically, not anyone has been affected in the same way. The pandemic has highlighted the long-standing inequalities in American society and exposed the deepening gap between age, race, economic condition, etc. The marginalized and disadvantaged population has been largely sacrificed by the US government as it makes its way to “restore to normal”.

COVID deaths in US by age

From early January 2020 to May 2022, among the 1 million deaths caused by COVID-19 in the US, approximately 74,1500 occurred to people aged 65 years and older, making up three out of four deaths.

It is estimated that compared with those aged 18 to 29, the death rate is four times higher for those aged 30 to 39, 65 times higher for those aged 65 to 74, and an alarming 330 times higher for those aged 85 and older.

COVID deaths & death rates in US by race, ethnicity

White people account for 65% of all deaths in the US, the largest proportion of any race to date. However, when looking at COVID deaths per capita, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and African Americans have higher death rates.

Considering the fact that COVID is more deadly for the elderly, when adjusted by age, data show significant differences in the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death by race. According to the CDC, Native Americans are more than 2.5 times more likely to die of COVID than white Americans, while African Americans are over 1.5 times more likely and Hispanic Americans 1.1 times more likely to die of COVID.

COVID deaths in US by urbanicity

Though the majority COVID-19 deaths happened in urban areas, the proportion of COVID deaths in rural areas has also increased from time to time. During the winter infection peak in 2020, more than 20% of COVID-19 deaths occurred in rural areas.

Medical resources are comparatively vulnerable than urban areas. During the surge of infections due to delta variant, thin resourced of rural hospitals in the US were overwhelmed.

Editor: Zhang Zhou
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