Data show that black Americans are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In Michigan, black Americans account for 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state, while only representing roughly 14 percent of the total population. During a recent press briefing, White House Coronavirus Task Force members highlighted that this disparity between racial populations is due to “underlying medical conditions” such as diabetes, hypertension obesity and asthma. This is a pattern seen all too often—racial health disparities that display the black population as more likely to have many common diseases. What did the White House mean by “underlying health conditions” and what causes it?