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Indigenous Americans are dying from Covid twice the rate of white Americans

The coronavirus is killing Native Americans at a faster rate than any other community in the United States, shocking new figures reveal.

According to analysis by APM Research Lab, American Indians and Alaskan Natives are dying at almost twice the rate of white Americans.

Nationwide one in every 475 Native Americans has died from Covid since the start of the pandemic, compared with one in every 825 white Americans and one in every 645 Black Americans.

Tribal leaders and health experts agree that while the excessive death toll is shocking, it’s hardly surprising given the chronic structural, economic and health inequalities, such as overcrowded housing, understaffed hospitals, lack of running water, and limited access to healthy affordable food.

To tackle these longstanding inequalities, there are calls for Joe Biden to fully fund the Indian Health Service, for the first time in history, which would enable the yet-to-be-nominated new director to reduce chronic health disparities that have contributed to the high death toll.

After centuries of broken promises, expectations are high given that Native American voters helped Joe Biden win crucial swing states including Arizona, Wisconsin and Nevada to take the White House. / The Guardian