Hispanic and black people are disproportionately represented in coronavirus fatalities, according to a report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.
The report found that the percentage of deaths among Hispanic and black people is higher than the groups' national population percentages. It also found that Hispanic populations saw the largest increase in fatalities, moving from accounting for 14% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. from February 12 through May 18 to accounting for 25% of fatalities in August.
The CDC found that 51.3% of coronavirus deaths occurred among white populations, while 18.7% occurred in black populations and 24.2% occurred in Hispanic populations. Black people make up 12.5% of the U.S. population, while Hispanic people make up 18.5% of the U.S. population.
"Although there has been a geographic shift in COVID-19-associated deaths from the Northeast to the West and South, where Hispanic persons account for a higher percentage of the population, this analysis found that ethnic disparities among decedents in the West and South increased during May-August, 2020, suggesting that the geographic shift alone does not entirely account for the increase in Hispanic decedents nationwide," the agency said.
The CDC said the disparity is potentially caused by increased risk of exposure, limited access to health care, and differences in underlying health conditions among racial groups.