Fauci: Coronavirus Pandemic Unveiled The ‘Undeniable Effects Of Racism’ In U.S.
The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. “shone a bright light on our own society’s failings” in how the virus devastated minority communities, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease official, during a commencement address for an Emory University graduation ceremony Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified … [+]
Speaking virtually from Washington, D.C. at the Atlanta graduation, Fauci told the graduations the “unacceptable disparities” in deaths and hospitalizations of Black, Hispanic and Native American coronavirus patients “uncovered a stark reality and failing of our own society.”
Many members of minority groups are more susceptible to coronavirus infections because they are more likely to be employed as essential workers in industries like restaurants, hospitality and healthcare, Fauci said.
Fauci said people of color in the U.S. have a greater chance of developing underlying medical conditions like obesity and high blood pressure—which increase the chance of coronavirus complications—because of social determinants like “the availability of an adequate diet, access to healthcare and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”
He urged graduates to not let the memory of how disparately the pandemic affected minority groups fade away in obscurity as the U.S. slowly reopens.
“Righting this wrong will take a decades-long commitment,” Fauci told the Emory University graduates Sunday. “I strongly urge you to be part of that commitment.”
According to a Centers for Disease Control study published last month, Hispanic people are twice as likely to test positive for coronavirus than a White person, three times more likely to be hospitalized and just more than twice as likely to die from an infection. Native Americans and Black Americans were also more likely to be infected, be hospitalized and die from coronavirus too, according to the CDC. The vaccine rollout has also favored White Americans, according to the New York Times, which found in an analysis of state data that Black and Hispanic people have received smaller fraction of vaccine doses, though the country has made progress in making the rollout more equitable in recent days thanks to working with local community partners.
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