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COVID-19 revealed the racial inequity still pervasive in D.C. While the coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone in D.C., the disease is killing black residents at a disproportionately high rate compared to white residents.

Black residents make up 46 percent of the city’s total population but 80 percent of the 127 lives lost due to the coronavirus disease. The District reported 15 additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday, and 12 of those were black residents. 

The Post’s Eugene Scott lists four reasons why the pandemic is hitting black communities hard. Systemic racism means these communities have less access to health care and housing. Thus, black residents see higher rates of heart disease and lung disease so complications from COVID-19 are more likely. 

On April 15, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the Department of Health Care Finance is working to identify residents with underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe illness. The announcement came as a way to address racial disparities in infections.

Amanda Michelle Gomez  (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • At Wednesday’s press conference, Bowser said starting Thursday, April 23, DC Health is opening a new public testing site at the UDC-CC Bertie Backus campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • A federal aid bill that passed the Senate Tuesday does not include the $700 million D.C. lawmakers asked for. [Post]

  • Zoao Makumbi Sr., a psychologist at a Northeast elementary school, is the first DC Public Schools employee to die of COVID-19. [Post

  • The OurStreets app ranked grocery stores that are the best and worst at social distancing. [WAMU]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd has something better to do than participate in tonight’s candidate forum. [WCP]

  • At-Large Councilmember Robert White answers questions on housing, transportation, and land use. [GGW]

  • D.C. attorney general’s office hires Jonathan Kravis, the federal prosecutor who resigned over the Roger Stone sentencing. He’ll work in the public corruption unit. [WTOP]

  • Campaigning during a pandemic. [DC Line]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Graphic designers are designing T-shirts inspired by local restaurants that double as fundraisers. [WCP]

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl is in desperate need of financial support. [ABC News]

  • Why so many local restaurants struck out when applying for the Paycheck Protection Program, especially if they were with EagleBank. [Washingtonian]

  • Could they have a second chance at PPP with the newly added $310 billion? [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • U Street Music Hall is in trouble. [DCist]

  • Local summer camps are in wait-and-see mode when it comes to whether or not they should be canceled. [Washingtonian]

  • Legendary Bethesda-born ballerina Julie Kent talks about her dance journey and takes calls from kids. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Two days ago, City Paper contributor Kelaine Conochan was supposed to run the Boston Marathon, but the race had been postponed due to the pandemic. Conochan decided to run a marathon, anyway, waking up in the early morning to run 26.2 miles around the city. She wasn’t finished. Conochan ran a second marathon shortly after to complete what she calls the Double Marathon Monday. [WCP]

  • Ten mid-round picks that the Washington NFL team could target in the draft. [Post]

  • Bradley Beal teamed up with his friend and fellow St. Louis native Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics to provide pizza for health care workers in their hometown. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Post sports photographer John McDonnell looks back on five decades of sports as seen through his lens. [Post]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

  • It’s almost like someone struck a Faustian bargain: 1981 classic Mephisto is available to stream from the comfort of your home… but you can’t watch it anywhere except home. 

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