Don’t Racialize the Pandemic

Healthcare workers take a patient into the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the coronavirus outbreak in Brooklyn, N.Y., April 6, 2020. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)
Let’s fight coronavirus, not get bogged down in racial categorization.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ver the past couple weeks, the national news media and many Democratic politicians have been calling attention to the significant number of African Americans who have perished from the novel coronavirus. An April 7 op-ed by the New York Daily News even went as far as to call the virus a “black plague.”

The underlying logic of racializing the pandemic is that African Americans make up a disproportionate number of those who have perished from the disease in several major American cities (many are not closely tracking racial data, meaning that we have an incomplete picture). Disproportionate, in this context, means