Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the “undeniable effects of racism” have led to health disparities during the coronavirus pandemic that particularly harm people of color.
Fauci, speaking Sunday to Emory University’s graduation ceremony via webcast from D.C., said the pandemic “has shone a bright light on our own society’s failings,” The Associated Press reported. He said people of color work in essential jobs where they are likely to be exposed to the coronavirus and tend to suffer higher rates of some medical conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes and obesity.
“Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” said Fauci, who serves as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, AP reported. “Almost all relate to social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”
Fauci said when “some form of normality” returns, people shouldn’t forget infectious disease has disproportionally hospitalized and killed people of color and challenged the graduates to fight racial injustice, AP reported.