Every day I wake up and I think about human health, and how the systems we have in place fail to prevent, treat, and protect us from the chronic health conditions that are the leading causes of death in the US. Specifically, our healthcare system fails to serve and protect specific demographics.
Yep, it’s not just our criminal justice system that exhibits abhorrent institutional racism, it’s our healthcare delivery system, too.
“Compared with whites, black men and women face higher risks of chronic illness, infection, and injuries. Taken together, the average lifespan for African Americans is 6 years less compared with whites.”
And in regards to COVID-19:
“In Louisiana, African Americans accounted for 70% of COVID-19 deaths, while comprising 33% of the population. In Michigan, they accounted for 14% of the population and 40% of deaths, and in Chicago, 56% of deaths and 30% of the population. In New York, black people are twice as likely as white people to die from the coronavirus.”
And it doesn’t just have to do with socioeconomic status:
“Even after controlling for age, gender, marital status, region of residence, employment status, and insurance coverage, African Americans have worse health outcomes than whites in nearly every illness category,” and, “The mortality rate for babies born to black mothers with a master’s or doctorate degree is far worse than the mortality rate for babies born to white mothers with less than an eighth-grade education.”
These facts are incomprehensible, and yet they are our invisible reality.
It’s more clear than ever that our healthcare system is far from immune to the racial injustices that permeate our world.
Today this is on my mind.