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Demonstration for Black Lives Matter

WASHINGTON — Outside the grocery store in Congress Heights, people are playing dominoes in the parking lot, close together without wearing masks. An auto service truck driver, who’s come to repair a flat tire, isn't wearing a mask either — he says he's had pneumonia and survived getting shot already, so what is coronavirus to him?

In Washington D.C., a city that is 46% black, close to 80% of coronavirus deaths so far are among black people.

And black people are dying at higher rates across the US. Coronavirus has been especially deadly in black neighborhoods in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York. With US case numbers now surpassing 1.1 million people, the stark racial disparity was most recently on display in Richmond, Virginia, where 62% of COVID-19 cases were among black people in a 52% white city, while all eight people who died of the disease in the city were black.

Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris of California introduced legislation to create a federal task force to investigate racial disparities in coronavirus deaths. "Early... see more