Plain language summary
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus was first identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. Various unsubstantiated reports emerged declaring that the genetic constitution of Blacks or even the presence of melanin rendered Blacks immune to the virus. This study is a call of action which reviews preliminary data on race and ethnicity in the peer-reviewed literature for citizens in America affected by COVID-19. Findings demonstrate that communities of colour (Blacks) have a higher rate of infection and death in comparison to their population percentage in the state of Connecticut. However, authors are unable to draw conclusions since race and ethnicity data is missing and the data in this paper is the earliest data available. Therefore, the authors call for action to identify and address racial and ethnic health disparities in the COVID-19 crisis.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted and devastated the world. As the infection spreads, the projected mortality and economic devastation are unprecedented. In particular, racial and ethnic minorities may be at a particular disadvantage as many already assume the status of a marginalized group. Black Americans have a long-standing history of disadvantage and are in a vulnerable position to experience the impact of this crisis and the myth of Black immunity to COVID-19 is detrimental to promoting and maintaining preventative measures. We are the first to present the earliest available data in the peer-reviewed literature on the racial and ethnic distribution of COVID-19-confirmed cases and fatalities in the state of Connecticut. We also seek to explode the myth of Black immunity to the virus. Finally, we call for a National Commission on COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities to further explore and respond to the unique challenges that the crisis presents for Black and Brown communities.