The spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus pandemic, has disproportionately impacted Black Americans around the country, leading to new cases in major cities like New Orleans. This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has come out to confirm that institutional racism is a contributing factor to the severe impact the virus has on the Black community.
Fauci spoke on the matter when Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., asked him during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing to which he replied yes. “Obviously the African American community has suffered from racism for a very, very long period of time,” Fauci said according to The Hill.
“And I cannot imagine that that has not contributed to the conditions that they find themselves in, economically and otherwise. So the answer, Congressman, is yes….We know from a lot of experience now, that the situation regarding whether or not you have serious consequences, hospitalizations, intubations, complications and death relate very strongly to the prevalence and incidence of underlying co-morbid conditions, which are clearly more expressed in the African American population than the rest of the population.”
“African Americans have suffered disproportionately from coronavirus disease. They’ve suffered in that their rate of infection is higher because of the nature of the economic status that many of them find themselves in where they’re outside working, being unable to physically separate,” Fauci said previously on the topic on the US Department of Health and Human Services’ podcast Learning Curve,
according to CNN.
“And then when they do get infected, given the social determinants of health which make … them have a higher incidence of diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes,” Fauci continued. “They are at much greater risk of suffering the deleterious consequences, including death.”