Health Editor’s Note: We have known that there is a deleterious effect of racism on health but the pandemic has brought this concept home to roost. From minorities disproportionally working in jobs that would exposed them to COVID-19 to being medically predisposed to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and lung diseases have all placed them in the sights of the coronavirus. Living in areas were physical distancing is virtually impossible, to not having water for the highly recommended and needed hand washing techniques, and lack of health care all placed minorities at risk of contracting COVID-19. Racial disparities in the health care realm must be thoroughly addressed and fixed. Racial health care disparities existed before the pandemic and have caused disproportionate deaths for the non-Caucasian world….Carol
by AP News
ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the United States said Sunday that “the undeniable effects of racism” have led to unacceptable health disparities that especially hurt African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has shone a bright light on our own society’s failings,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a graduation ceremony for Emory University.
Speaking by webcast from Washington, Fauci told the graduates in Atlanta that many members of minority groups work in essential jobs where they might be exposed to the coronavirus. He also said they are more likely to become infected if exposed because of medical conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes or obesity.
“Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” Fauci said. “Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”
Fauci said correcting societal wrongs will take a commitment of decades, and he urged the graduates to be part of the solution.
Fauci said that once society returns to “some form of normality,” people should not forget that infectious disease has disproportionally hospitalized and killed people of color.