"This is bigger than Katrina"

As with Katrina, the burden is falling disproportionately on black Louisianians.

Black residents make up 32% of the state’s population but 55% of its deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The numbers are similar in New York, Chicago and across the country.

Economists and civic leaders are warning that the deaths are only the start of what could be a devastating setback to black communities in America. Black workers are losing jobs at elevated rates and are less prepared for the shock. Many black-owned small businesses have been unable to access a government-supported loan program meant to keep them afloat.