Reporter’s Notebook: Puerto Ricans Living In The Center Of The COVID-19 Outbreak (A Latino USA Podcast)

Aug 14, 2020
1:58 PM
Originally published at Latino USA

(Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Since the start of the pandemic, low-income, immigrant, Black and Latinx communities have been most affected by the virus. Now, a recent investigation by the Puerto Rico-based Center for Investigative Journalism (or CPI in Spanish) found that stateside Puerto Rican communities are concentrated in areas that have also seen some of the highest rates of infection and death by COVID-19 in the country.

The Puerto Rican population living in the United States is largely concentrated in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Along with living in these high-risk areas, many Puerto Ricans in the U.S. are grappling with existing factors such as poverty, high unemployment rates, English-language barriers, housing insecurity, and lack of health care and insurance. These conditions —only exacerbated as the pandemic continues— leaves Puerto Ricans in the U.S. mainland even more vulnerable to infection and death by COVID-19.

In this segment, CPI reporters Vanessa Colón Almenas and Coral Murphy join Latino USA to break down their investigation. The two were part of the four-person team that worked on this story: Colón analyzed data on COVID-19 and Puerto Ricans in the U.S., while Murphy spoke with Puerto Ricans in New York and New Jersey about their experiences with the virus.

This Latino USA podcast was produced by Alejandra Salazar.


NPR’s Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa, produced by Futuro Media, is the longest-running Latino-focused program on U.S. public media.