The idea that the narrowing gap between Covid-19 deaths among white Americans and Americans of color represents a racial equity success story is being bandied about. Not so fast, says Nathan T. Chomilo, a pediatrician and internist at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
To be sure, it’s worth celebrating the tenacity of community champions who relentlessly fought for equitable access to vaccines and the subsequent reduction in deaths among Black and Hispanic people. But a look at the big picture — decreased life expectancy, kids who have lost caregivers, long Covid, job losses, mental health struggles, and more — shows that the disparities between white Americans and Americans of color remains significant.
“Yes, there are successes — but they will only truly be successes in the end if we change how we do things and if we learn from it and do things differently going forward,” said Chomilo, who is also the former director of Covid-19 vaccine equity for the Minnesota Department of Health.
This conversation emerged from the First Opinion essay “Covid-19 is an inverse equity story, not a racial equity success story” that was written by Marina Del Rios, Chomilo, and Neil A. Lewis Jr.
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