October 21, 2022 – The COVID death rate among Black Americans—which was the highest in the U.S. for many months during the pandemic, due to health disparities—is now lower than that of white Americans.
As of mid-October 2021, the rate of death among whites eclipsed that of other groups, except for during the Omicron surge, according to data analyzed by the Washington Post.
According to an October 19 article in the Post, the switch is the result of longstanding issues of race and class that interacted with the physical and psychological toll of mass illness and death, social upheaval, public policies, and public opinion.
Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was among experts quoted in the article. Krieger said that the shift in COVID death rates “has vastly different implications for public health interventions.” She added that officials must figure out how to connect with “communities who are ideologically opposed to the vaccine” while contending with “the cumulative impact of injustice” on communities of color.
Read the Washington Post article: Whites now more likely to die from covid than Blacks: Why the pandemic shifted