The subordinate health status of Blacks in the United States (US) has been documented since the 1899 publication of The Philadelphia Negro, in which W.E.B. DuBois presented empirical data on the differences in the quality of health between Blacks and Whites during the 1900s. Black-White differences in health persist today across a wide array of conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, asthma, obesity) due to a combination of social and structural determinants of health. Against this backdrop, racial disparities in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality exist and persist, but are not surprising. At the time of writing, over 257,000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded in the U.S., with a disproportionate number among Black Americans. This chapter provides an overview of Black–White disparities in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality. In addition, importantly, the chapter discusses reasons these racial disparities exist and persist, including the impact of structural barriers such as access to health care, disproportionate number of racial/ethnic minorities in low-paid service and front-line jobs (e.g., grocery store clerks, janitors, child care staff, hospital staff, public transit workers), health care provider bias, and medical mistrust.
Race, ethnicity, and COVID-19: The persistence of black-white disparities in the United States (pp. 331-340)
In Andrews GJ, Crooks VA, Pearce JR, Messina JP (Eds.)
COVID-19 and Similar Futures: Pandemic Geographies.
Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-70179-6_44.