Why is Michigan’s coronavirus death rate so high? Udow-Phillips explains in MLive

June 2, 2020 | In The Media, MLive

High covid death rate newspaper clippings“By multiple measures, coronavirus COVID-19 has been particularly deadly in Michigan” reports Julie Mack in a recent MLive story. “Michigan’s high covid death rate equates to almost 10 percent of the state’s confirmed cases,” writes Mack. “That’s the highest percentage in the country.”

Mack interviewed Marianne Udow-Phillips, founding executive director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation, for perspective. 

It’s likely the sociodemographic factors that made metro Detroit a U.S. epicenter for coronavirus also are contributing to the high covid death rate, said Marianne Udow-Phillips, head of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan.

Outside of nursing homes, “we know where COVID-19 has been most deadly, and that’s been in the African-American population,” for a variety of reasons, Udow-Phillips said. She also said, “I don’t think it’s in any way that our healthcare system wasn’t as prepared as elsewhere.” 

“A large percentage of deaths are in congregate living settings such as nursing homes and a large percentage are occurring in African-American populations,” Udow-Phillips said. “That informs us on where we need to take interventions; we need to do more to protect those populations, in particular.”