May 21, 2024

Systemic Racism and COVID-19 Disparities in the US: Strategies for Equity and Health

An article published in The BMJ by Keisha Bentley-Edwards and colleagues from Duke University sheds light on the link between race, racism, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in the US. The authors point out that systemic racism and economic disparities lie at the core of the unequal COVID-19 outcomes and propose measures to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources.

This publication is part of a series that aims to draw lessons from the US’s experience with COVID-19 and to outline crucial steps required to prevent further loss of lives in future pandemics while enhancing overall population health.

The authors stress the urgency of addressing systemic failures without waiting for the next pandemic. They emphasize the necessity of taking proactive steps to achieve fair health outcomes for marginalized communities, particularly racial minorities and individuals facing economic hardships.

Key recommendations put forth by the authors include prioritizing anti-racist initiatives, refraining from pathologizing behaviors of minority groups without considering the underlying structural causes of health inequities, advocating for the detachment of health insurance from employment, ensuring the inclusion of vulnerable populations in vaccine trials, reimagining vaccine distribution strategies, and enhancing living conditions for incarcerated individuals.

By implementing these measures and adopting a comprehensive approach to address racism and inequality in healthcare, the US can pave the way towards a more equitable and healthier society.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it