African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics are more likely to be endangered by the coronavirus due to chronic health conditions and the effects of economic inequality, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in Friday's White House briefing.

What he's saying: "We do not think people of color are biologically or genetically predisposed to get COVID-19. There is nothing inherently wrong with you. But they are socially predisposed to coronavirus exposure and to have a higher incidence of the very diseases that put you at risk for severe complications of coronavirus."

Catch up quick: African-Americans are more likely to have several underlying health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and some cancers that can make COVID-19 infections more severe, Axios' Sam Baker and Alison Snyder write.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that African Americans "are suffering disproportionately," adding that, "[W]hen they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions ... wind them up in the ICU."
  • "Puerto Ricans have higher rates of asthma, and black boys are three times as likely to die of asthma as their white counterparts," Adams said Friday.
  • "African Americans and Native Americans develop high blood pressure at much younger ages. It's less likely to be under control and does greater harm to their organs," he noted.

The big picture: Several states and cities have reported that African Americans are dying from the virus at higher rates than any other racial demographic.

  • On social distancing, people of color are less likely to be able to practice it, Adams said. The tactic is currently one of the most effective ways people can help slow the spread of the virus.
  • On hand washing, 30% of the homes in Navajo nation don't have running water, Adams said.
  • "Only 1 in 5 African Americans and 1 in 6 Hispanics have a job that lets them work from home," Adams said. "People of color are more likely to live in densely packed areas and in multi-generation housing situations which create higher risk for spread of a highly contagious disease like COVID-19."

The bottom line: "It doesn't matter if you look fit, if you look young, you are still at risk for getting and spreading and dying from coronavirus," Adams said.

Go deeper: African Americans are disproportionately dying from coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in Capitol's National Statuary Hall

Photo: Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall on Friday, making Ginsburg the first woman to ever receive the honor.

The state of play: The Supreme Court also announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in repose on the front steps of the building on Wednesday and Thursday, allowing the public to pay respects to the late justice outside.

16 mins ago - World

Trump announces new Iran sanctions in effort to maintain international arms embargo

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that would impose sanctions on any person or entity that contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran or is engaged in providing training and financial support related to those weapons.

Why it matters: The executive order is the first step by the Trump administration to put teeth into its claim that international sanctions on Iran were restored over the weekend, one month after the U.S. initiated the "snapback" process under a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Exclusive: Conservative group launches $2M Supreme Court ad

Screengrab of ad, courtesy of Judicial Crisis Network.

The Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $2.2 million ad campaign to put pressure on vulnerable Senate Republicans in battleground states to support a quick confirmation when President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee.

The big picture: "Follow Precedent," previewed by Axios, is one of the first national and cable television ads to run following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's death Friday.