For a variety of reasons, Filipino Americans have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus. People with roots in the Philippines account for about one-quarter of the Asian Americans in California, yet data compiled by The Times show that Filipino Americans account for at least 35% of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s Asian population.
Of 48 Filipino Americans known to have been infected with COVID-19 in Southern California, 19 have died, according to the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles. Although the data may be skewed by a small sample size, this puts Filipino Americans at a 40% mortality rate, significantly higher than the overall 3.7% mortality rate in the U.S., according to research by Johns Hopkins.
Data compiled by The Times have shown that preexisting health conditions and occupational hazards are among factors that contribute to the high number of Filipino American deaths during the pandemic. Most of those who died were older than 60, and many had diabetes and hypertension. Many were retired, living in multigenerational housing with their children or in nursing homes. Younger victims worked essential jobs, providing healthcare, working in law enforcement and at grocery stores.