Severe cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, are disproportionately affecting African American communities, according to a report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis includes data from 1,482 coronavirus patients hospitalized in 14 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Utah.Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreakAmong the 580 patients for whom race or ethnicity information was available, 45 percent were white and 33 percent were black.When researchers factored in the racial breakdowns of people living in those 14 states, disparities became apparent.Despite accounting for more than a third of the cases, African Americans make up just 18 percent of those states’ populations.In contrast, the white population in those states is 59 percent, yet accounts for only 45 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases in the CDC report.Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreakThe Morning RundownGet a head start on the morning’s top stories.”We don’t think African Americans are more susceptible to getting infected,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show.But she said her group was “very concerned”

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