Black Workers Face Two of the Most Lethal Preexisting Conditions for Coronavirus—Racism and Economic Inequality“We’re all in this together” has become a rallying cry during the coronavirus pandemic. While it is true that COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, the magnitude and nature of the impact has been anything but universal. Evidence to date suggests that black and Hispanic workers face much more economic and health insecurity from COVID-19 than white workers.
Although the current strain of the coronavirus is one that humans have never experienced before, the disparate racial impact of the virus is deeply rooted in historic and ongoing social and economic injustices. Persistent racial disparities in health status, access to health care, wealth, employment, wages, housing, income, and poverty all contribute to greater susceptibility to the virus—both economically and physically.
Though black and brown communities share many of the experiences that make them more susceptible, there are also important differences between these communities that need to be understood in order to effectively combat the adverse economic and health effects of the virus. This report, focused specifically on black workers, is the first in a series that will explore how racial and economic inequality leave workers of color with few good options for protecting both their health and economic well-being. A forthcoming report will highlight conditions for Hispanic workers.
CDC Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority GroupsOn This Page
Factors that contribute to increased risk
What We Can Do
Data on COVID-19 and Race and Ethnicity
Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. The term “racial and ethnic minority groups” includes people of color with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. But some experiences are common to many people within these groups, and social determinants of health have historically prevented them from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health. 
There is increasing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. , , , ,  Inequities in the social determinants of health, such as poverty and healthcare access, affecting these groups are interrelated and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. To achieve health equity, barriers must be removed so t