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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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