NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The COVID-19 virus is hitting communities of color the hardest, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But so far, the city and state has not released the data to back it up.
It's data some say can help save lives.
"COVID-19 is very scary," said Dr. Uche Blackstock, who works at an urgent care center in Brooklyn. "And I'm seeing more of the walking wounded."
When it comes to the types of patients walking in with the virus, Dr. Blackstock said she's seeing a disturbing trend.
"What I've noticed over the past few weeks is more black and brown patients," she said. "A lot of them are essential workers. They work for the MTA or the police department, and some of them are service workers."
New York released new data on Wednesday showing the largest percentage of deaths in New York City is among Hispanics with African-Americans accounting for the second largest percentage. In the rest of the state, the largest percentage of deaths is among the whites.
Hispanic: 34% of deaths (29% of population)
Black: 28% of deaths (22% of population)
White: 27% of deaths (32% of population)
Asian: 7% of deaths (14% of population)
Hispanic: 14% of deaths (11% of population)
Black: 18% of deaths (9% of population)
White: 62% of deaths (75% of population)
Asian: 4% of deaths (4% of population)
"We are going to double down on the strategies that reach people who are the most vulnerable now because we are seeing these very troubling facts," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.
A nationwide civil rights group sent a letter to the federal government this week demanding the release of race data immediately and calling on state health departments to do the same
"Sadly, we're being left in the dark," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "This data is critical to make sure we have an effective and targeted response."
While waiting for the information to be released, 7 on your Side Investigates crunched its own data based on positive cases and where patients live.
The zip codes in dark blue are the hardest hit and tend to be communities with a larger percentage of minorities and with higher poverty levels.
"I think the data's going to confirm what we know," Dr. Blackstock said.
Some doctors say it's important to know in order to figure out how to get better care to those in need.
"Whether they need more testing or maybe they need more trained health care workers," Dr. Blackstock said. "Or those who are the ones that are going to need more ventilators."
Speaking at the White House daily briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the medical community has known for a long time that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma hit minority populations, especially African Americans.
"It's not that they're getting infected more often. It's that when they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions...wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, explained.
Fauci said the virus is "shining a bright light on how unacceptable the disparity is," but there is not much that can be done right now except to try to give these people the best care possible.