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Doctors concerned that people of color are most affected by excess deaths from COVID-19

A new tally of 300,000 deaths in the U.S. caused by the coronavirus between January 26 to October 3, includes not only the deaths directly attributed to Covid-19—but also about 100,000 additional fatalities that are indirectly related, according to a report released by the CDC.

People of color were affected most by the excess deaths. Hispanics experienced a 54% increase in deaths compared to previous years; Black people saw a 33% rise; American Indians or Alaska Native people were 29% above average; and people of Asian descent were 37% above average. By comparison, white Americans saw an increase of only 12%.

In a poll of 180+ global Sermo physicians, 67% said they were alarmed that people of color had the largest percentage increases in excess deaths. When asked what they believe is most likely the cause, this is how Sermo physicians responded:

Patients’ fear of getting essential medical attention due to risk of contracting Covid
39%
Overcrowding of hospitals and limited medical care available for non-Covid conditions
26%
Lack of covid testing resulted in many deaths misdiagnosed
13%
Psychological stress or substance abuse spikes during the pandemic
7%
Other
15%

Seventy percent of Sermo physicians said they are troubled that the perception of deaths caused by Covid is skewed due to the undercounted “excess deaths.” Eighty-eight percent said we need to put health policies in place to better protect our most vulnerable populations, and 71% believe the spikes in excess deaths for people of color will have lasting health implications.