In Chicago, a recent report found that 70 percent of people who died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are black — even though the city’s population is just 30 percent black.
In Milwaukee County, which is 27 percent black, the figure is 81 percent.
And public health officials tracking the coronavirus have seen similar disproportionate impacts on African Americans in Philadelphia, Detroit and other cities.
But just how widespread the disparities might be across the country is difficult to know, because most states and the federal government haven’t released demographic data on the race or ethnicity of people who’ve tested positive for the virus. That’s created an information gap that could aggravate existing health disparities, prevent cities and states from equitably distributing medical resources and potentially violate the law, advocates say.