COVID-19 is affecting people of different races and ethnicities differently, as American society has treated different races and ethnicities differently.
As members of the Alaska Black Caucus put it during a recent discussion of race-related health disparities in the pandemic, it’s not race that’s a risk factor for getting the disease, it’s racism that’s a risk factor. That is, there are deeply rooted problems tied to race that cause COVID-19 to impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color at higher rates.
Christopher Gay is an Anchorage doctor and co-chair of the Alaska Black Caucus’s Health Committee. Gay says there are many factors involved, and investigating and discussing them is important to create better outcomes for everyone.