Xavier University’s Dr. Daniel Sarpong leads a panel discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on Black, brown and indigenous communities. To date, the epicenter of the COVID-19 spread in Louisiana has been metropolitan areas like New Orleans. However, experts note that Indigenous, Latino, and rural Black communities across the state remain overlooked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 23 states, Native American communities had an infection rate three times higher than White Americans. Black and Latino-Americans were also twice as likely to contract and die from the virus.Native Americans have also been disproportionately affected by the virus. At the height of the pandemic, the Navajo Nation had surpassed New York State for the highest infection rate in the U.S. Beyond the infection and death rates, communities of color are almost twice as likely to report job loss and economic hardship due to the pandemic, compared to White communities.

“When we talk about rural communities, this cuts across the various segments of the population in terms of race and ethnicity and all the social demographics, “said Dr. Daniel Sarpong, the Endowed Chair and Director for the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education in Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy.

“We don’t want people to still get caught up in the Black and White comparisons and to realize that it’s affecting all segments of the population,” said Sarpong who shared his expertise in a panel discussion on Oct. 7, 2020 as part of an ongoing COVID-19 series titled “The Truth Exposed.”

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