Mary T. Bassett’s Opinion in The New York Times

Dr. Mary T. Bassett, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights and Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, has recently authored “Just Because You Can Afford to Leave the City Doesn’t Mean You Should” in The New York Times.

In the opinion, Dr. Bassett argues that the spread of the coronavirus is more than the correlation between population density and viral transmission. “That disease [COVID-19] is devastating cities like New York because of the structure of health care, the housing market and the labor market, not because of their density,” she says. “The spread of the coronavirus didn’t require cities — we have also seen small towns ravaged. Rather, cities were merely the front door, the first stop.”

“It’s not that there are too many people in cities. It’s that too many of their residents are poor, and many of them are members of the especially vulnerable black, Latino and Asian populations.”

Read the full opinion.