Last Updated Apr 7, 2020 7:04 PM EDT The coronavirus has been exploding across the South. In a dozen Southern states, there have been nearly 65,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,700 deaths.The death rate from the virus in Louisiana is the second-highest in the U.S. Many victims there had underlying conditions. The most common factor is high blood pressure.Governor John Bel Edwards reported 70 new deaths Tuesday and said they’re still bracing for the worst.There’s an alarming disparity in the state: more than 70% of the coronavirus deaths are African Americans, who comprise only 32% of the population. “It’s very sad to say I’m not shocked this is happening if you have a disease that’s going to kill more people with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and you have a health disparity like this, it’s not shocking,” said Dr. Amy Lessen of Dillard University.Louisiana has one of the nation’s highest rates of people with pre-existing conditions.As coronavirus rages through the South, it’s hitting a vulnerable population especially hard: the poor with little access to health care — and blue-collar workers who don’t have the option to work from home.Beyond Louisiana, cases are spiking across the South including in Florida, where hundreds

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