Examining systemic racism and COVID-19 death rates

Posted at 6:43 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 19:23:12-04

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront segment we're looking at a new study on COVID-19 death rates due to systemic racism.

In our state, the Whitmer Administration has spent a lot of time and resources addressing the issue because of high death rates during the pandemic.

We're being joined by Corporate Medical Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center Dr. Teena Chopra to talk about it.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"My team and I at Wayne State looked at social vulnerability characteristics and COVID-19 mortality in Detroit and we found that mortality risk was elevated in those patients who were from Census tracts that were flagged by the CDC for social vulnerabilities like poverty, unemployment, low per capita income, and low high school diploma rates and we found, by contrast, there was no relationship between COVID-19 mortality and race," Dr. Chopra says. "So we concluded that it is, basically, systemic racism and the correlates of social vulnerability that might be driving the mortality and not race per se."