A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that life expectancy in the United States has dropped by a full year -- the largest drop since World War II.
For Black Americans, that drop is nearly three times worse.
“COVID-19 has pulled the covers off of the real, health and welfare conditions of African Americans and Latinos,” said Reverend Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP.
Anthony says that the proof is in the numbers.
Researchers at the CDC say the life expectancy for Black American populations declined by 2.7 years since 2019. The report essentially says Black Americans are expected to live until 72 years old, on average, the lowest life expectancy for the demographic since 2001.
Latino populations in the U.S. reportedly have the second largest decline in life expectancy, falling 1.9 years since 2019. The population’s new life expectancy is 79.9 years old, the lowest it’s been since 2006.
“It’s not just the COVID that bears down on us, it’s the total systematic approach with how one deals with minorities and African Americans and Latinos and people of color in particular,” Anthony said. “If you don’t fix, the way police crack down on black folks just because they happen to be out there walking, riding, sitting in the park, it doesn’t matter.”
Reverend Anthony also mentioned fixing the educational system in addition to increasing access to healthcare, grocery stores and pharmacies within neighborhoods. He also applauds Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist for the work they are doing to shed light on the health disparities in the state.
Anthony says there is still much work to be done.