Poor People Died from Covid at Twice the Rate of the Rich, Study Finds
Health Care

Poor People Died from Covid at Twice the Rate of the Rich, Study Finds

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Americans living in the poorest counties died at twice the rate of those living in the richest counties, according to a report released this week by the Poor People’s Campaign. And death rates during last fall’s Delta variant surge of the virus, death rates in counties with the lowest median income were five times higher than in those with the highest median income, the report found.

The study looked at data on Covid deaths, income, race and other characteristics from 3,200 counties.

The report says that vaccination status does not fully explain the variation in death rates across income groups: “Average vaccination rates are generally higher in the highest income counties than in middle-and low-income counties, however, these differences do not explain the whole variation in death rates in the later phases of the pandemic.”

The study also found that the poorest counties had an uninsured rate that was double that of the highest-income counties, the study showed.

“If the nation had paid attention to the widespread poverty that preceded the pandemic, thousands of deaths might have been prevented,” the Rev. William J. Barber II and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.