Health Issues for Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans May Cause Coronavirus to Ravage Communities - Diverse Health

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Health Issues for Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans May Cause Coronavirus to Ravage Communities

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by Deborah Barfield Berry

Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans have many underlying health conditions, including asthma and heart disease, that could make them more vulnerable to complications from the coronavirus, leaving advocates, lawmakers and public health experts worried these long marginalized communities won’t get equal access to tests and treatment as the outbreak spreads.

“The virus is an equal-opportunity crisis … but the impact and the burden of it is not going to be shared equally,’’ said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a public health expert and assistant professor at Columbia University in New York City. “Like most things in society, it’s going to be regressive. It’s going to be felt disproportionately by the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized, and obviously that falls down in this country on communities of color.’’

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