Filipino Americans account for at least 35% of COVID-19 deaths in the state's Asian population
Data compiled by the Times show that Filipino Americans account for at least 35% of deaths related to the deaths in California’s Asian population.
Out of 48 Filipino Americans infected with Covid-19 in Southern California, 19 died. This works out at a 40% mortality rate compared to the overall mortality rate in the US of 3.7% – 10x lower.
The majority of those who died from the virus were over the age of 60, with many having diabetes and hypertension.
Younger victims include those working frontline jobs.
Socioeconomic disparities in the Fil-Am community might be leading to such high figures.
A report from the UC Davis Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies cited issues regarding undocumented status, exposure for health workers, poverty and economic insecurity, preexisting respiratory conditions and lack of health insurance as reasons for the high death rate.
“It’s the perfect storm,” said Adrian De Leon, an assistant professor in USC’s department of American studies and ethnicity.
“In terms of exposure to the pandemic, exposure to the virus, but also exposure to a lot of other factors, too — like dense housing tends to be in places that have environmental hazards.”
Dr. Melinda Bender who works in health intervention for Fil-Ams at San Francisco State University said that Filipinos have high rates of obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease, which could lead to Covid-19 deaths.
“People think that Asians as a whole are pretty healthy,” said Bender. “But in fact, we are all very different in how we are represented in chronic disease.”
“Filipinos,” she added, “have the highest sedentary behavior of Asian Americans, and the Filipino diet is high in fat. All of these factors put Filipinos at risk.”
Asian Americans are in general are facing higher Coronavirus fatality rates than the rest of the population.
Asian Americans in San Fransisco account for almost half of Covid-19 related deaths despite only making up one-third of the population.
Fatality rates among Asian Americans in California are three times higher than the rest of the state’s population. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and New Jersey Asian American fatalities account for over 10%.
In related news, Tigertail director Alan Yang has produced a new PSA advert to combat Coronavirus racism towards Asian Americans.