More than 73,000 Black lives were lost during the pandemic, making up 15% of all COVID-related deaths, the highest of any race, according to The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project.
This disparity was seen further in a CDC study looking at how COVID-19 impacts pregnant women. Black women made up 14.1% (57,572) of those included in the study and represented 36.6% (176) of the overall 447 deaths. Among the 34 deaths of pregnant women, 26.5% (nine) were Black women.
“Regardless of pregnancy status, Black women experienced a disproportionate number of deaths relative to their distribution among reported cases,” the study says. “This analysis highlights racial and ethnic disparities in both risk for infection and disease severity among pregnant women, indicating a need to address potential drivers of risk in these populations.”
This is not a new trend. The CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, up-to-date through 2017, found 41.7 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women. This is the highest number of deaths per live births. The closest number is seen in American Indian or Alaska Native women at 28.3 deaths per 100,000 live births. Black women are three times as likely during childbirth than white women.
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