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Google, Morehouse Team to Study COVID-19 Race Issues

Google announced a $1 million grant to Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute to collect and analyze data to explore why communities of color have had higher diagnoses of COVID-19.

by Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / May 29, 2020
Volunteers line up to begin taking hundreds of free COVID-19 tests at a pop-up site at the House of Hope in Decatur, Ga. Many African Americans watching protests calling for easing restrictions meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus see them as one more example of how their health, their safety and their rights just don't seem to matter. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

(TNS) — There’s been ample data showing the novel coronavirus is disproportionately impacting African Americans.

An Atlanta medical school has been tasked to research the reasons behind the disparity.

Google announced Thursday it’s providing a $1 million grant to Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute to collect and analyze data to explore why communities of color have had higher diagnoses of COVID-19. A team of Google engineers and data scientists will work full-time over the next six months to support the project.

As of Thursday showed about 45% of Georgians who’ve died from the disease are African American, state data shows. About 32% of Georgia’s population is African American, U.S. Census Bureau data shows.

Google and the medical school said in a news release they hope their research “will help policymakers better understand how to ensure those communities receive the targeted help that they need to close those racial gaps and ensure the communities receive the resources and support that they need to battle the virus.”

Morehouse School of Medicine released a report earlier this month that found COVID-19 cases are higher in Georgia counties where more African Americans live, even after stripping out factors like poverty, health insurance and population density.

©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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