Posted on June 01, 2020
Source: Annals of Epidemiology
Tonia Poteat, Greg Millett, LaRon E Nelson, Chris Beyrer
Black communities in the United States are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and the underlying conditions that exacerbate its negative consequences. Syndemic theory provides a useful framework for understanding how such interacting epidemics to develop under conditions of health and social disparity. Multiple historical and present-day factors have created the syndemic conditions within which Black Americans experience the lethal force of COVID-19. These factors include racism and its manifestations (e.g., chattel slavery, mortgage redlining, political gerrymandering, lack of Medicaid expansion, employment discrimination, and healthcare provider bias). Improving racial disparities in COVID-19 will require that we implement policies that address structural racism at the root of these disparities.