African Americans in Kansas make up nearly a third of the state’s COVID-19 deaths

Councilman Brandon Johnson discusses the fight to get COVID-19 numbers down in Wichita.
3:15 | 05/22/20

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Transcript for African Americans in Kansas make up nearly a third of the state’s COVID-19 deaths
New studies say that Kansas has the largest racial disparity of -- nineteen death rates in the country. African Americans in Kansas make up nearly a third of the State's code of nineteen deaths. Although only accounting for a little over 5%. Of the State's population. You're tell us more about the fight to get these numbers down is Wichita councilman. Brandon Johnson Brendan thank you for being with us and I want to ask you first what your reaction was when you heard your state has one of the largest infection. And death rates of covad nineteen among African Americans. There's so district one has the largest concentration of our American community and what we saw was the least amount of tests than our community and so when we see the impact on African American community we questioned why there wasn't enough tests and our community and we wanted to see both symptomatic and asymptomatic folks have an opportunity to get tested some of the recent numbers are just received. Over a thousand people who were actually able to get tested at one sided and our community over the last week seven of the positives or six of the seven positives where African Americans so we have a great concern about make sure we have access to testing without the stipulations of having symptoms are or what not so we can make sure works as you saw a third of the deaths in Kansas farm after an American community that we can make sure we take care of the folks who may have. Nanny you said you're looking into why heavy figured out the why in all of this. You know the Kansas was really struggling to get tests are nationally and more finally starting to get a supply in. And the way it was dispersed. From the state level in rural Kansas made sense but when it came down here in the city we just didn't have enough Brent and I and you've come up with a clever way to get more information out to African Americans in your community. Tell us what you've done. So we have by the black alliance loses a group of our ministerial leed. Activists elected its all working together and one boys and make sure that we get the message out to the community able let them know how dangerous this is also working to get supplies. And other needs met and then back out to the community so we've been able to secure mass Clark community expose will be distributed out by hand all of us working together. Are we're working to get the word out through some of our cultural art news organizations are community voice and others. So we're really working together and has been great to see our all of these various organizations that recognize the need and then get the word out. So many lessons learned but painful lessons that are being learned so let's look at the bigger picture what can we do to keep this disparity from happening. Right now in in in the future. So we're gonna have to have a vet check doesn't as a country when we look at our minority businesses that were mostly struggling before this pandemic with less revenues less access the capital which has got to make sure the we truly invested moles and as one of the things the alliance is talking about we've got to make sure that as we're open enough that we address those health needs and make sure that we have the PP Ian though both churches and our businesses so that we can protect ourselves and then go before we got to be more intentional about thinking about these vulnerable communities first and make sure that those needs are met so that we all can be equally taken care. I know you're doing very very important work life saving work they're councilman Brandon Johnson thank you for your time today we appreciate it. Thank you for a government.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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