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Racial toll of virus grows even starker as more data emerges

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Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Eugene Rush, who was diagnosed with the new coronavirus near the end of March, and his son Joshua, pose outside their Superior Township, Mich., home Thursday, April 16, 2020. Rush and his 16-year-old son, who has since also been diagnosed with COVID-19, are both on the mend and resting at home. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP) — As a clearer picture emerges of COVID-19’s deadly toll on black Americans, leaders are demanding a reckoning of systemic policies they say have made many African Americans far more vulnerable to the virus.

Licensed practical nurse Lenora Shepard, left, removes a protective gown, next to registered medical assistant Lauiesha Plummer after working at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site Thursday, April 16, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The latest Associated Press analysis of available state and local data shows that nearly one-third of those who have died from the coronavirus are African American, even though black people make up only about 14% of the population in the areas covered in the analysis.

Randy Barnes poses for a photo outside his home Friday, April 17, 2020, in Dellwood, Mo. Barnes’ older brother recently passed away after contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A growing chorus of leaders are pressuring the government to not just release comprehensive racial demographic data, but to also outline clear strategies to blunt the devastation.

Registered medical assistant Elaine Lomax handles a nasal swab specimen after it was collected at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site Thursday, April 16, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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