More and more black people are falling victim to the coronavirus as racial disparity robs them of their right to be tested for Covid-19 at an appropriate time.
Rana Zoe Mungin, 30, died this Monday in New York City from coronavirus after being denied Covid-19 testing twice, her family says.
The Brooklyn middle school teacher lost a more than month-long battle with the disease after eventually being diagnosed. Her veteran nurse sister, Mia Mungin said the health care system had failed them as her family believes race played a role in the care she received.
Speaking to local television, Mia revealed that her sister Rana went to Brookdale Hospital Medical Center twice after developing a fever, but on both occasions, she was sent home without testing.
"Racism and health disparities still continues … [and] the zip code in which we live still predetermines the type of care we receive," Mia wrote on Facebook about the structural racism and the discrimination black communities face in the health care system, including her sister.
Another black woman, Deborah Gatewood, died in Michigan earlier this month from Covid-19 complications. The 63-year-old healthcare worker was turned away four times with coronavirus symptoms from Beaumont Hospital, where she had worked for 31 years.
Her daughter, Kaila Corrothers told Fox 2 news that Gatewood drove herself to Beaumont Hospital twice on March 18 and 19. However, she was sent home with cough medicine to take rest. After two more rebuffed visits to Beaumont Hospital, the symptoms got worse, and her situation deteriorated by the end of March. She developed bilateral pneumonia and collapsed as she was taken by ambulance to another hospital, where she was finally tested.
In a similar story, a Detroit man died from the coronavirus after being turned away multiple times from three different hospitals because he was black, his family has alleged. Gary Fowler, 56, was never tested or admitted to any hospital or given any treatment. He died in his home from complications related to coronavirus. His stepson, Keith Gambrell says the system failed them as he also lost his grandfather David Fowler, 76, just six hours later.
"I honestly think that's why the death rate for blacks is so high. It's because we're being pushed to the back and told to go home, but come back if you can make it before you die," said Gambrell in an interview with CBS.
"If [my father] could have gotten admitted to any hospital and gotten the proper treatment and proper care, he would still be here," said Fowler’s daughter, Paris McCray, in another interview. Since then, three other family members have tested positive for the new virus, including Fowler’s wife.
According to the latest report of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), the effects of Covid-19 is highly disproportionate on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Essential and service workers, often with low incomes, are in the line of Covid-19's fire almost everywhere in the world. And in the US, low income largely means people from ‘black’ or ‘brown’ communities.