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More than 70% of La. residents killed by COVID-19 are African American, Governor says

John Bel Edwards said the 'disturbing' trend is something the state wants to get under control

NEW ORLEANS — More than 70% of people killed by COVID-19 in Louisiana are African American.  

That statistic comes from Gov. John Bel Edwards, who announced Monday that Louisiana will soon release more in-depth information on COVID-19 cases in the state.

“Slightly more than 70% of deaths in Louisiana are African Americans,” Edwards said. “That deserves more attention and we’re going to have to dig into that and see what we can do to slow that down.”

Edwards also said that hypertension is the leading underlying condition among patients killed by COVID-19.

The governor did not say when the more detailed information on COVID-19 patients would be available, but said it will be soon and that it will be updated on a weekly basis.

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Cities with large black populations like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and New Orleans have emerged as hot spots for the coronavirus. Figures released by Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services show 40% of those who have died from COVID-19 are black in a state where African-Americans are just 14% of the population.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, black adults are 60% more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes, 40% more likely to have high blood pressure and are less likely to have those conditions under control. Additionally, in 2015, black women were 20% more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic white women.

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