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Black people account for over 80 pct of COVID-19 infections in US capital: media

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-27 09:23
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WASHINGTON - Black people made up more than 80 percent of the coronavirus cases reported in Washington, D.C. in recent days, compared with 46 percent late last year, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The share of new infections involving Black people spiked sharply in the city starting around mid-April, when the coronavirus vaccine became widely available to D.C. residents. The share of cases involving White people, meanwhile, has fallen below 10 percent, compared with 33 percent of cases in December.

"It is yet another way in which the highly contagious virus -- which has disproportionately sickened and killed people of color throughout the pandemic -- has exacerbated the nation's deep racial divides," said the Post. "Similar trends have been seen elsewhere in the country, including in both Kentucky and Tennessee."

The district's population is about 45 percent Black and 42.5 percent White, according to US Census Bureau estimates. But "White residents have been significantly more likely to get vaccinated, due to higher rates of both hesitancy and access issues for Black Washingtonians," it added.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser noted the disparity on Tuesday, urging people to get vaccinated if they had not already done so: "You're putting yourself at risk and you're putting the city at risk, because if this virus kicks up again, among unvaccinated communities, it could drive our numbers up and shut us down, and none of us wants that."

The US COVID-19 vaccination program has gone from zero to 50 percent in less than six months. As of Tuesday afternoon, half of the country's adults are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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