Pandemic Exposed: The immunologist in charge of the Covid-19 response in the United States said on Sunday that “the undeniable consequences of racism” have resulted in unfair health inequalities, which harmed African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans disproportionately during the pandemic.
During an Emory University graduation ceremony, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “Covid-19 has shone a blinding light on our own society’s failings.”
Fauci told the graduates in Atlanta via webcast from Washington that many members of minority communities work in critical positions where they could be exposed to the coronavirus. He further mentioned that if they are exposed due to medical problems such as asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, or obesity, they are more likely to become sick.
“Racial determinants are now very few of these comorbidities,” Fauci said. “Almost both are related to social determinants of health, which stem from the disadvantageous circumstances that certain people of color face from birth in terms of access to a healthy lifestyle, health services, and the undeniable impact of inequality in our society.”
People do not forget that infectious disease has disproportionately hospitalized and killed people of color, he added, as culture returns to “some form of normalcy.”
Fauci received the Emory University president’s medal on Sunday. Former President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, and the late civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis are among the previous recipients. Fauci expressed his displeasure with the dissolution of discord when receiving the prize.
He congratulated the graduates for dealing with the pandemic’s massive destruction.
“Humanity has not experienced a global health epidemic of this scale since the 1918 influenza pandemic,” he said. “Each of you deserves tremendous respect for your exceptional adaptability, stamina, and commitment to learning, finishing your studies, and graduating through enormous challenges and uncertainties.”