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A medical team with a coronavirus patient in a Stamford Hospital intensive care unit in Stamford, Connecticut, in April. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Black Americans enrolled in Medicare have been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus at four times the rate of their white counterparts. And Hispanics on Medicare have been hospitalized roughly twice as much as white people.

Why it matters: The federal Medicare data, published on Monday, confirms what has been indicated anecdotally and in studies: The pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color in a major way.

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement, "The disparities in the data reflect longstanding challenges facing minority communities and low income older adults, many of whom face structural challenges to their health that go far beyond what is traditionally considered 'medical.'"

By the numbers: From January 1 to May 16, more than 325,000 Medicare recipients were diagnosed with COVID-19, the CMS report states. Nearly 110,000 of those were hospitalized. 

  • Black Americans on Medicare made up 465 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 enrollees.
  • The CMS noted the rate is also high for Hispanic people — 258 hospitalizations per 100,000.
  • Asian Americans were "about one-and-a-half times more likely than whites to be hospitalized for COVID-19," AP notes. The rate for white people is 123 per 100,000.

Of note: The CMS found people enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid have a higher rate of coronavirus hospitalizations. (473 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries, compared to 112 hospitalizations per 100,000 for those enrolled only in Medicare.)

Go deeper: Coronavirus racial disparities are worse than we thought

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a no-sail order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Oct 1, 2020 - Health

Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021

A laboratory technician preparing a blood sample for a vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least spring 2021, according to Financial Times.

Why it matters: Bancel told FT that the drugmaker will not seek emergency authorization for FDA approval for its vaccine for front-line medical workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25 at the earliest.

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