Coronavirus: Not the Equal Opportunity Virus We’ve Been Told It Is

The coronavirus pandemic has been yet another reminder of how many Americans live on the edge. Whether it’s food insecurity, economic insecurity, housing insecurity, existing health risks, or racial injustice, we’re seeing the ways in which vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by the virus and are unable to cope with its shock.

As CNN explained, in the week ending on March 28, first-time unemployment claims skyrocketed to a record 6.6 million, as businesses continued to shutter in an effort to curb the virus’ spread — shows that people of color are disproportionately affected by the waves of job loss because more hold service-industry or otherwise “expendable” jobs.

Why This Matters: Years of discriminatory policies and growing income inequality have created a perfect storm for COVID-19 to inflict maximum damage. Though we’ve heard that the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, it actually does. New research links air pollution to higher coronavirus death rates and communities of color as well as low-income ones are exposed to toxic air at far higher rates than their whiter and wealthier counterparts.

Go Deeper: How vulnerable is your community?

This Tweet: From the Environmental Voter Project’s Nathaniel Stinnett,

The Big Picture: As the Washington Post reported, the daily death toll from coronavirus in the United States surpassed 1,800 on Tuesday, marking a new global high for the number of deaths linked to the virus in one country in a single day.

The Good News: Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 is thought to have originated finally lifted its lockdown after 11 weeks. Nonetheless, the city’s liberation was greeted with anger and anxiety about the manner in which officials first handled the outbreak.

Shady Moves: As Politico reported, President Trump has upended the panel of federal watchdogs overseeing the implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law.

By The Numbers: Take a look at coronavirus peaks by state, a look into how social distancing measures are helping in the states that are implementing them.

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