ABC13 town hall on COVID-19 and Communities of Color

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Amid the various challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is the virus' disproportionate effect on communities of color.

According to the CDC, racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. carry an overwhelming burden of illness and death in the face of this unprecedented situation.

ABC13 anchor Chauncy Glover, who battled COVID-19 and has since recovered, moderated the discussion, which featured U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, community activist and entrepreneur Tina Knowles-Lawson, and other community and medical leaders. The panel answered questions related to the coronavirus and the realities faced by minorities in Houston.

Houston has the highest number of black residents in Texas, where nearly 23 percent of Houstonians identify as black or African American, according to the U.S. Census. The city also has the third-largest Hispanic population in the U.S., with nearly 49 percent of its residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the medical community has known for a long time that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma hit minority populations particularly hard, especially in the black community.

Fauci urged in April that the medical community must focus on providing the best possible care to minority communities in the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19 or a cure for its unequal effects on people of color.
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