When he worked at a hospital in downtown Los Angeles, Dr. Gregory Taylor saw cases that reflected the community where he grew up: a host of underlying health conditions killing black patients. Taylor, an internist, called those conditions — diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases — “a part of the community fabric” among black residents of South Los Angeles. “It’s true across our ethnicity as a whole,” said Taylor, who grew up in Leimert Park and now works at Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California. “What you see over and over is black folks in a poorer state of health.” Now those underlying conditions are contributing to African Americans’ vulnerability to COVID-19, which is killing them at the highest rate among all races in Los Angeles County. Of the 1,418 people who died in Los Angeles County – by far the largest number in California – 12.5 percent are black residents, even though they make up 8 percent of the population, according to the Department of Public Health’s dashboard.