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NEW REPORT: Black North Carolinians Bearing the Brunt of Coronavirus Crisis

NEW REPORT: Black North Carolinians Bearing the Brunt of Coronavirus Crisis

Policy decisions, such as a failure to expand Medicaid, have made

existing racial disparities in health care even more stark

Raleigh, N.C. – A new report released by Piedmont Rising today finds that Black North Carolinians are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic more severely than other groups in terms of the number of deaths and diagnosed cases. The report points to policy decisions that have contributed to this racial disparity. The report found that:

  • Black North Carolinians account for 39 percent of confirmed coronavirus patients and 38 percent of deaths from coronavirus, even though only just over 21 percent of state residents are Black;

  • Policy decisions at the state level, such as not expanding Medicaid, have made existing racial disparities in health care even more stark;

  • Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, policymakers have an obligation to help address these racial inequities by expanding Medicaid and protecting the Affordable Care Act; and

  • North Carolina lawmakers should join calls for transparent reporting of coronavirus data that so far show unacceptable racial disparities.

“This report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is only worsening the inequalities people of color face," said Piedmont Rising Executive Director, Casey Wilkinson. “Black residents, and most likely Latino and Native American residents, are bearing the brunt of this crisis, but we still lack a complete picture because of a lack of transparency in data being reported. We urge elected leaders in our state to fight for greater transparency so that we can address systemic problems that perpetuate an unjust system.”

The report finds that, despite considerable progress made in health coverage, access, and outcomes during the early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, people of color in North Carolina continue to face disproportionate obstacles to accessing health care - especially amidst the coronavirus pandemic.


Jessica Coscia



About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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Piedmont Rising is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation. All contributions received will be used to further the mission of Piedmont Rising, which is to educate and engage the public and advocate for public policy issues in order to promote social welfare, consistent with section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.​ Piedmont Rising intends to make communications expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates for federal office. Please note that Piedmont Rising may be required to disclose the name, address, employer, occupation, and amount contributed by its donors on reports filed with the Federal Election Commission required for such communications. 


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