During the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re hearing often from our leaders that “we’re all in this together.” While true, some of us are in it more than others; black Americans are dying at a faster rate from the novel coronavirus than other groups. There are many reasons for this disparity, but a big one that’s getting too little notice is one of the many systemic failures endangering black Americans: their exposure to air pollution.
Harvard researchers recently found that even the smallest increase of exposure to a common air pollutant is associated with a 15 percent increase in the death rate from COVID-19 (on top of increased risk of lung cancer and heart problems). Fossil fuel plants are among the top emitters of this particle, along with other pollutants that can cause or worsen asthma and shortness of breath. Partly due to a history of redlining, African Americans live closer to fossil fuel infrastructure than the rest of the population: A 2017 joint report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Clean Air Task Force found that more than a million African Americans live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility.
— source thehill.com | Jared DeWese | 05/24/20