Mayo Clinic doctors talk COVID-19 impact on communities of color

Confusion and mixed messaging are just two of the reasons communities of color are being impacted more by COVID-19.

"The CDC states that about 13% of population is African American, but 20% or greater of African Americans are the ones dying from the disease," says Dr. Brittane Parker with Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine.

Other factors include underlying health conditions, lack of access to healthcare, and the fact that many minorities are doing service jobs that can’t be done virtually, likely exposing them more to the virus.

"You know, bus drivers, they cannot do a virtual job. So there's high touch jobs that remain in the public and [they] remain at risk," Dr. Edmond Baker said.

Dr. Baker and Dr. Parker are part of the panel that Mayo Clinic organized to tackle these issues in a virtual town hall Tuesday. They want to put facts out there about COVID-19 they see on Facebook.

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"The memes and texts from friends about what to do and what causes COVID-19 disease, and they're not listening to some experts, they're not conferring with their doctors," Dr. Baker said.

"We can't forget that there are some communities that are more affected than other others," Dr. Parker said. "I think of the Native American population here in Arizona, they've been hit very hard ..."

The virtual town hall will be held Tuesday at noon and again at 6 p.m. and more information can be found below.