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Racism and Health Equity in the Time of COVID-19

First few Article Sentences

Watching George Floyd die with a police officer’s knee on his neck shocked the nation and, understandably, set off weeks of protest. For Black Americans, that May incident was all too familiar. They took to the streets, joined by supporters from all communities, shouting ENOUGH and Black Lives Matter. The President of the American Psychological Association said,, “We are living in a racism pandemic,” and it is taking a toll on the health of Black Americans. The “racism pandemic” has collided with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has put a spotlight on the truth that many are only now realizing – racism is a public health crisis.

It is not a new concept, but it has certainly gained more attention since the killing of George Floyd. The World Health Organization defines public health as “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society.” But, systemic racism impedes these efforts.

There are many examples where systemic racism undermines societal efforts to prevent disease, prolong life or promote health. Otherwise, why would African American children have higher rates of lead poisoning? Why do Black men continue to have a substantially lower life expectancy than White men? Why are Black and Native American women more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women? The disparities go on and on.

Baackes, John


L.A. Care Health Plan

Health Equity

October 6, 2020

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