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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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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