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Race, racism, and COVID-19 in the US: Lessons to be learned

Black person with mask
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

In a publication in The BMJ, Keisha Bentley-Edwards at Duke University, North Carolina, and colleagues argue that systemic racism and economic inequality are at the root of disparity in COVID-19 outcomes and suggest ways to distribute resources more equitably.

The article is part of a series that highlights the lessons that can be learned from the US's COVID-19 experience and the actions that are needed to prevent the loss of another million citizens in the next pandemic and improve and protect .

"Rather than waiting for the next pandemic to address systemic failures, the US must start working now to achieve equitable health outcomes for racialized and poor Americans," the authors write.

Efforts must be built on anti-racist action, they say, and include resisting the compulsion to pathologize racialized minority behavior without assessing structural drivers to health inequities, separating health insurance from employment, including vulnerable populations in vaccine trials and rethinking vaccine distribution, and improving conditions for incarcerated people.

More information: Race, racism, and covid-19 in the US: lessons not learnt, The BMJ (2024). DOI: 10.1136/bmj-2023-076106

Journal information: British Medical Journal (BMJ)
Citation: Race, racism, and COVID-19 in the US: Lessons to be learned (2024, February 26) retrieved 19 April 2024 from
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