What’s Going On In Maine?

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A headline in the Washington Post today is stark:

Black people — many of them immigrants — make up less than 2 percent of Maine’s population but almost a quarter of its coronavirus cases

We’ve seen the same thing throughout the country, so this is not too surprising. But this is:

Two of the state’s 115 coronavirus deaths have been among black Mainers, who health officials said tend to be younger and less likely to exhibit symptoms of the virus’s disease, covid-19….The most recent state data show that at least 836 of more than 3,600 Mainers who have had the coronavirus are black.

Two deaths out of 836 cases? That’s a case fatality rate just barely over 0.2 percent. That’s 20x lower than the 4 percent rate for both the rest of Maine and the United States as a whole. Is this solely because Maine’s mostly immigrant black population is that much younger than Maine’s white and Hispanic population?

Whatever it is, it sure begs for an explanation.

This post has been revised.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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