Dr. Fauci says COVID-19 just another example of the ‘undeniable effects of racism’

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said the virus exposed “undeniable effects of racism” during a graduation ceremony Sunday. Fauci spoke to Emory University’s most recent graduates via webcast.

Fauci talked about the health disparities among African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans in his speech. “COVID-19 has shown a bright light on our own society’s failings’ after the virus disproportionally killed people of color,” Fauci said.

In fact, Emory’s figures Saturday that show for every 100,000 people, 127 African American, 118 Latinos and 139 American Native have died, while 114 white people died.

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Next, he shared two reasons why that might be. First, many African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans worked “essential jobs” which meant they were more likely to confront the virus. Second, these groups tended to have the medical conditions that increased their likelihood of infection. For example, hypertension, diabetes, lung disease or obesity. But, that also wasn’t necessarily their fault, Fauci explained.

“Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society,” Fauci said.

Emory University awarded him the president’s medal. Former President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama and the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, are all also recipients of this medal. Fauci also received an honorary degree from Emory in 2003.

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