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Coronavirus Majority

Majority of kids who die of coronavirus are Hispanic, Black, or Native American, CDC finds – USA TODAY

, USA TODAY
Published 1:44 p.m. ET Sept. 16, 2020 | Updated 4:48 p.m. ET Sept. 16, 2020

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Dr. James Fortenberry, chief medical officer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, explains what parents should look out for as kids go back to school.

USA TODAY

As students across the country return to classrooms, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the majority of children, teens and young adults who die from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American.

Researchers found there was a staggering racial disparity in the more than 390,000 coronavirus cases and 121 deaths among people under the age of 21 reported to the CDC between Feb. 12 and July 31.

Hispanic, Black and Native American children accounted for 78% of those deaths even though those groups represent just 41% of the United States population, a disproportionate effect that reflects a similar disparity among adults. Previous research has shown that the death toll from COVID-19 is twice as high for people of color under the age of 65 as it is for white Americans

“The findings did not surprise me at all,” Monika Goyal, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., said. Goyal, who was not invovled in the CDC research, conducted a study published in the journal Pediatrics this month which found that among the 1,000 children tested for COVID-19 at a site in Washington in March and April, children of color were disproportionately represented in the 20% that tested positive.

‘Silent spreaders’ of COVID-19: Kids who seem healthy may be more contagious than sick adults, study says

Underlying health conditions, including asthma, obesity and cardiac issues, were also a risk factor for children. The report found that 75% of the children who died had at least one underlying condition.

The report points to social disparities such as “crowded living conditions, food and housing insecurity, wealth and educational gaps, and racial discrimination” as factors that may have contributed to these racial inequities.

Researchers also noted that adults who are racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be essential workers who are at higher risk for exposure to the coronavirus and may then transmit it to those in their household. The higher rates of adverse outcomes may also be tied to difficulty accessing health care services “because of lack of insurance, child care, transportation, or paid sick leave.”

“What COVID has done is really shone a spotlight on these long-standing health disparities that affect children and people of color in our society,” Goyal said. “I truly hope that this is a call to action, that we as a society come together to really try to mitigate these disparities by addressing those root causes.”

Investigation: Kids less likely to die from coronavirus, but schools could become hot spots for spread

Study authors said young people who are racial or ethnic minorities or have underlying conditions and their caregivers would benefit from clear and consistent COVID-19 prevention messages. Goyal also emphasized wearing masks, limiting the risk of exposure and looking out for signs and symptoms.

Researchers also found that the majority of deaths occurred in older patients: 70% of those who died were between the ages of 10 and 20 while just 10% were infants under 1.

The majority of these deaths occurred after children were admitted to the hospital, but 32% of deaths occurred at home or in the emergency room.

Goyal said that while any death among youth is alarming, it’s important to note that  “the risk of death is extremely low” for children who contract COVID-19. Americans under the age of 21 account for just .08% of the more than 190,000 deaths reported across the country.

“I do think that it’s important for the public to not panic,” she said. “Thankfully, the majority of children have a mild infection and recover.”

Study authors also noted that during the period the data was collected, the majority of early child care providers and schools were closed. As those institutions reopen, the number of pediatric deaths related to the coronavirus may change and should be monitored, they said. 

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

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Majority voters

Majority of voters reject reducing police funding, despite national push: poll – Fox News

A majority of voters reject reducing police funding and moving that money to social services, despite a national push in recent weeks from activist groups and some politicians, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released Tuesday.

The poll finds that a majority of Americans (63 percent) support the Black Lives Matter movement, and 69 percent say Black people and other minorities are not treated equally in the criminal justice system — that number is up 18 points from 2014.

DEFUND OR DISMANTLE POLICE? WHAT IT COULD MEAN

However, only 40 percent support cutting funding to police in order to spend more on social services, while 55 percent oppose such a move. Among Democrats, 59 support cutting funding, but only 14 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of independents.

Meanwhile, 63 percent oppose paying reparations to Black people whose ancestors were enslaved. Only 31 percent support it.

The poll comes after weeks of unrest and debate over the question of policing and race since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. It led to nationwide protests and riots, as well as national calls for significant reform to policing methods.

A number of cities have passed or considered legislation to reform or defund police departments, and reform pushes have found considerable support in Congress — including from some Republicans.

But President Trump has pushed back against defunding the police, while presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has not embraced calls to defund the police — although in a recent interview he said that some funding should “absolutely” be redirected from police.

BIDEN HAS CALLED TO REDIRECT POLICE FUNDING, BUT STOPPED SHORT OF ‘DEFUND’ EMBRACE

The protests have also turned into a debate on whether statues, particularly those memorializing Confederate generals, should be removed. The ABC/Washington Post poll found that 52 percent oppose removing statues honoring Confederate generals, while 43 support it.

The numbers suggest that Americans are increasingly seeing racism and discrimination as a problem, but do not back drastic reforms promoted by left-wing groups.

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A recent Fox News poll found that large majorities see both police brutality against Black Americans (76 percent) and a lack of law and order (79 percent) as very or somewhat serious problems.

When asked about the recent backlash against the police, just over half, 51 percent, say it has gone too far, while 12 percent say not far enough, and 29 percent think it has been justified.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton contributed to this report.

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Majority Vaccine

A Majority of Vaccine Skeptics Plan to Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccine, A Study Suggests – Snopes.com

This article is republished here with permission from The Conversation. This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.


The availability of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus will likely play a key role in determining when Americans can return to life as usual. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on April 30 announced that a vaccine could even be available by January 2021.

Whether a vaccine can end this pandemic successfully, however, depends on more than its effectiveness at providing immunity against the virus, or how quickly it can be produced in mass quantities. Americans also must choose to receive the vaccine.

According to some estimates, 50% to 70% of Americans would need to develop immunity to COVID-19 – either naturally, or via a vaccine – in order to thwart the spread of the virus. If these estimates are correct, that could mean that nearly twice as many Americans would need to elect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine than those who currently opt to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Just 37% of American adults did so in 2017-2018, even in the midst of a historically severe flu season.

Making matters more complicated is the possibility that people who hold skeptical views about vaccine safety – sometimes referred to as “anti-vaxxers” – will not opt to receive the coronavirus vaccine. According to some estimates, about one fifth to two fifths of Americans express reservations about vaccine safety. If most of these individuals forego receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, they could potentially jeopardize the recovery process.

One of us is a doctoral candidate, and the other is a professor, who both study vaccine resistance. We conducted a study, which is currently undergoing peer review, where we estimate the number of Americans who report being willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes available. We also investigate the reasons some Americans might refuse the vaccine.

We found that about one fifth of Americans, and more than half of people who hold skeptical views toward vaccine safety, may be unwilling to pursue vaccination. Although most Americans do plan to get vaccinated, non-compliance rates may be high enough to pose a threat to collective immunity.

Is coronavirus changing minds about vaccine safety?

On the one hand, a pandemic may be encouraging anti-vaxxers to change their minds. One reason so many Americans doubt vaccine safety is due to complacency – the idea that, because high rates of vaccine compliance have kept us safe from diseases that once reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., segments of the population can hold anti-vaccine views without endangering public health.

Consistent with this view, research finds that when people are concerned that once nearly eradicated diseases might re-emerge to reach epidemic levels, people are more likely to trust recommendations from public health experts. Additionally,cross-national survey research suggests that people who live in parts of the world where the threat of epidemics are more likely tend to hold more positive views toward vaccines than the rest of the world.

Studies based on in-depth interviews with parents further suggest that parents who chose not to vaccinate their children are often willing to accept treatments for children with life-threatening illnesses.

On the other hand, however, it could be the case that anti-vaxxers remain suspicious of a COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available. Prominent anti-vaccine websites have already begun circulating misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine – such as the idea that a vaccine has existed for years and has been kept from public consumption. Additionally, recent research suggests that anti-vaccine views are tied to deeply held psychological and moral aversions to inoculation, implying that attitudes may be difficult to change.

What do anti-vaxxers say now?

We set out to investigate this important question. In a demographically representative survey of 493 U.S. adults conducted on April 15, 2020, we investigated whether people who hold skeptical views toward vaccine safety plan to receive a vaccine against COVID-19.

Specifically, we asked respondents whether they would be willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes available. Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents said that they would not.

Additionally, and consistent with the view that even a global pandemic may not persuade anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated, we find that 62% of people who are skeptical of vaccines said that they will forego COVID-19 vaccination.

To assess this, we measured vaccine skepticism by asking respondents three questions about whether they find vaccines to be safe, effective, and/or important – which is how vaccine skepticism is typically measured. Respondents indicated whether they thought each characteristic described vaccines “quite a bit,” “a moderate amount,” “a little bit,” or “not at all.” We then averaged the score across the three to create a scale of vaccine skepticism.

Nearly one-fifth (19%) of respondents were more vaccine skeptical than not. Among vaccine skeptics, 62% stated that they would not get vaccinated against COVID-19. By contrast, just 15% of those more supportive of vaccines than skeptical said that they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

We also asked respondents if they self-identified as anti-vaxxers, and nearly 16% said they did. For those that identified as anti-vaxxers, 44% said they would not vaccinate against COVID-19, compared to 19% of people who did not identify as anti-vaxxers.

A threat to collective immunity?

We believe that these findings, although preliminary, suggest that many people who hold anti-vaccine beliefs may jeopardize the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available, due to issues of non-compliance. Furthermore, it appears that anti-vaccine sentiment is at least as widespread as it was before the pandemic began.

We caution that a drawback of this study is that it doesn’t directly measure changes in vaccine sentiment over time. However, the levels of anti-vaccine sentiment found in this data are comparable to similar levels of anti-vaccine sentiment in the American public before the pandemic, according to previous studies. Tracking public attitudes toward a COVID-19 vaccine can help public health agencies better understand who plans to receive the vaccine, and why some people might choose to refuse it.

The Conversation


Kristin Lunz Trujillo, PhD Candidate in Political Science, University of Minnesota and Matt Motta, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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