In San Francisco, a steady trend in coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths has gone largely unnoticed until recently: Asian Americans consistently account for nearly half of COVID-19 deaths.
Across the country, a high Asian American case fatality has emerged as another health disparity from COVID-19 impacting a minority population.
Hypotheses For Higher Case FatalityA higher observed case fatality indicates that either Asian Americans lack sufficient diagnostic testing, face a higher risk of death from COVID-19 on average, or both.
Importantly, the case fatality does not reflect the population infection rate, which tends to be lower in Asian Americans.
Importantly, there is no evidence that Asian Americans face a higher case fatality due to ethnicity itself.