Are African Americans more at risk from COVID-19 than other Americans? Let our experts explain

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Startling evidence suggests a disproportionate number of African Americans are dying due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump called the impact of the coronavirus on African Americans a “real problem” that was showing up “strongly” in the data.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added that pre-existing conditions that are more prevalent among African Americans, including asthma and diabetes, are a factor. “We’re very concerned about that,” he said.

Low-income people of color are also more likely to have jobs that can’t be done remotely, meaning they’re more likely to be exposed to the virus than those who are able to work from home. Statistics also show they’re less likely to have access to high-quality private testing or medical care.

As health officials and experts further examine the data, there are a lot of questions to be asked:

  • What can African Americans do to further prevent the risk of infection?
  • Do government officials need to allocate more resources to areas with a higher population of African Americans?
  • Are African Americans being tested or do they have access to tests in the same manner as the rest of America?

If you are a journalist covering this topic, let our experts help.

Dr. Tiffany Townsend is a widely recognized leader in diversity, health equity research and psychology. She serves as the chief diversity officer for Augusta University.

Dr. Joseph Hobbs is an award-winning physician and a notable leader in the research of racial disparities in health care. He serves as chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Townsend and Hobbs are both available to speak with media regarding this topic. To arrange an interview, call 706-522-3023.

Read the latest news on COVID-19 on our dedicated resource page, and check out the Augusta University Expert Center to view a complete list of our experts.


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Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or

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Written by Danielle Harris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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