Death rates. Here are the updated, officially counted covid deaths per 100K population by race/ethnicity in the United States:
 Overall = 61 deaths per 100K
 White = 39 deaths per 100K
 Black = 93 deaths per 100K
 Hispanic = 60 deaths per 100K
Fatality as lagging indicator of infection. Official death counts probably underestimate the number of fatalities attributable to covid infection. However, the cumulative death rate is the most accurate indicator of the population’s infection rate. Using the IHME’s estimated US covid fatality rate of 0.85% for the US , here are the imputed cumulative infection rates by race/ethnicity:
 Overall = 61/(.0085 x 1000) = 7.2 percent infected
 White = 39/(.0085 x 1000) = 4.5 percent infected
 Black = 93/(.0085 x 1000) = 10.9 percent infected
 Hispanic = 60/(.0085 x 1000) = 7.1 percent infected
Age adjusted fatality rates. The 0.85% fatality rate estimate is an overall average for the US population. Age, however, is a significant predictor of covid mortality; e.g., per the CDC, 6574 year olds infected with covid are 90 times more likely to die of the disease than are infected 1829 year olds. All else equal, populations with a higher median age will have a higher mortality rate. Here is median age by race/ethnicity of the US subpopulations:
 Overall = 38 years
 White = 44 years
 Black = 34 years
 Hispanic = 30 years
Based on the CDC’s data, as well as national seroprevalence studies conducted in various countries, each additional year of population median age results in about a 10% higher mortality rate. Conversely, younger populations have a 10% per year lower mortality rate compared to the overall average. The yearbyyear age adjustments are geometric rather than linear, compounded annually. So, calculating the ageadjusted covid fatality rates by race/ethnicity:
 Overall = 0.85% fatality rate
 White = 0.85% x 1.1^{6}) = 1.51% ageadjusted fatality rate = 1.78 times the overall rate
 Black = .0085/1.1^{4} = 0.58% ageadjusted fatality rate = 0.68 times the overall rate
 Hispanic = .0085/1.1^{8} = 0.40% ageadjusted fatality rate = 0.47 times the overall rate
Ageadjusted infection rates. Combine these intermediate calculations to arrive at cumulative US ageadjusted covid infection rates by race and ethnicity:

 Overall = 7.2 percent infected
 White = 4.5/1.78 = 2.5 percent infected
 Black = 10.9/0.68 = 16.0 percent infected
 Hispanic = 7.1/0.47 = 15.1 percent infected
Impressive analyses. Distressing results.
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This is the “all else equal” situation for age adjustment. I’m pretty sure that on average blacks and hispanics have higher comorbidities than whites, adding further distress to their corona vulnerability.
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In making prevalence estimates based on deaths, I failed to compensate for the time lags. Per the CDC, there’s an average 20day lag from infection to death, plus another 20day lag from death to reporting of that death. So the estimates of infection rates should include a projected additional 40 days’ worth of deaths to the cumulative count. At the current rate, that’s an additional 800 deaths per day x 40 = 32,000, or about 10 deaths per 100K population. That’s an increase of 16% overall. So, the ageadjusted estimates by race/ethnicity accordingly should be:
– Overall = 8.4 percent infected
– White = 2.9 percent infected
– Black = 18.6 percent infected
– Hispanic = 17.5 percent infected
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Here’s a new NPR article on disproportionate burden of covid infections echoing parts of this post.
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“CDC is in the process of a very large, sequential study across the entire United States, measuring serology … the preliminary results on the first round show that a majority of our nation – more than 90% of the population – remains susceptible,” [CDC director] Redfield said.
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