Experts: Health care system’s racial bias contributes to COVID-19 disparities

Discrimination in the health care system is contributing to stark disparities in how COVID-19 is sickening and killing people of color, according to health care experts.

In a June 15, 2020 article in USA Today, experts talked about disparities in insurance coverage and access to care, housing, and healthy food; the lack of research and innovation in illnesses that mostly affect people of color; and studies that illustrate inequities in health care.

Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, called COVID-19 “a fast pandemic being fueled by a slower pandemic” of disparities in chronic conditions.

“Studies have shown that even the most well-intentioned physician or medical professional demonstrates unconscious bias in caring for others,” he said. “That’s why explicit and consistent training and education and commitment to cultural competence is absolutely critical for the future of our health care workforce.”

Read the USA Today article: Medical bias: From pain pills to COVID-19, racial discrimination in health care festers