This story was originally published by the School of Medicine in the June 8 edition of the “WashU Med COVID-19 Update”.
African Americans in Missouri are disproportionately dying of COVID-19. Black residents make up 12% of the state’s population but account for more than one-third of Missouri’s Coronavirus deaths. In St. Louis and St. Louis County, they are dying at nearly double the rate of whites. In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Elvin Geng, MD, professor of medicine, says that racial disparities in infections and deaths are starker than expected. “I think a lot of people who follow racial disparities in health outcomes across a number of different conditions were sort of anticipating this, but how quickly it played out and how large the differences are, I think, still caught everyone by surprise,” he said.