Why COVID-19 is exacerbating racial disparities

October 21, 2020
We all know COVID-19 is exacerbating racial disparities in the United States. But why? We take a deep dive, plus give you more industry and D.C. news you need to know, in around 740 words, 3 minutes, 40 seconds.
BIO

We all know COVID-19 is exacerbating racial disparities in the United States. But why? We take a deep dive, plus give you more industry and D.C. news you need to know, in around 740 words, 3 minutes, 40 seconds.

 

Why COVID-19 is exacerbating racial disparities

 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

New data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds Black and Hispanic/Latinx people were disproportionately more likely to die from COVID-19 in the United States during the spring and summer. USA TODAY takes a close look at why this is the case—and the outsized impact of environmental racism.  

“Of the 10 U.S. counties with the highest death rates from COVID-19, seven have populations where people of color make up the majority,” says USA TODAY. “Of the top 50 counties with the highest death rates, 31 are populated mostly by people of color.”

“This isn’t a matter of coincidence, poor choices, or bad luck—it’s by design,” the reporters conclude, citing America’s long history of discriminatory health, environment, and housing policies.

In St. John’s Parish in Louisiana, emissions from a neoprene plant “are so harmful that the EPA lists the predominantly Black neighborhood next door to the plant as having the highest risk of cancer in the entire country”—and the 27th highest death rate from COVID-19. 

Elsewhere, food deserts create health disparities. Imperial County, CA, produces 80% of the country’s winter produce, but the predominantly Hispanic farm workers can’t afford to buy it. Nearly 75% of adults and 13% of children in the county are obese or overweight for their age, while 31% of children don’t get enough to eat each day. 

These disparities exacerbate COVID-19 comorbidities. COVID-19 “has been so fatal in the county, with 16 deaths per 10,000, nearly three times the national average,” continues USA TODAY.

This is why the BIOEquality Agenda is so important—to help ensure marginalized communities have access to science, including COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, as well as education and career opportunities. Learn more. 

Innovation and policy can work together to make a dent in these problems. We have biotech solutions—like biofuels, which have lower carbon emissions and create rural jobs, or gene editing, which can increase access to affordable, nutritious food. Now, we need policy solutions to ensure innovations get to communities where they’re needed the most.

ICYMI: During BIO IMPACT Digital, BIO’s Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath sat down with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and experts from AquaBounty Technologies and Cargill to discuss how we can deliver justice through science. Watch now.

 

More News:

BioCentury: Ethics arising from EUAs could disrupt COVID-19 vaccine trials
“‘As an industry,’ BIO stated in its comments [ahead of the October 22 Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting], ‘we have an ethical obligation to make our trial participants aware that a vaccine may be available’ after an EUA has been granted.” 

POLITICO: States prepare for their own vaccine safety reviews amid worries about Trump’s influence on the FDA
“New York, California, Michigan, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and potentially a handful of others are in the early stages of creating independent panels to review vaccine data as it becomes available—although it’s not yet clear whether all these states would seek to block distribution of a vaccine they deem unsafe or ineffective, or just to broadcast those concerns.”

The Wall Street Journal: Moderna CEO expects COVID-19 vaccine interim results in November
“Moderna Inc. Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said the federal government could authorize emergency use of the company’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine in December, if the company gets positive interim results in November from a large clinical trial.”

The Wall Street Journal: Pfizer sets up its 'biggest ever' vaccination distribution campaign
The U.S. pharmaceutical giant is preparing to ship billions of COVID-19 vaccines using frozen boxes, cargo planes, and trucks in a mega logistics operation.

 
 
Paragraph (normal) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus sample link.
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 
Best of BIO Investor Forum Digital
 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

If you missed our recent digital conferences…well, you missed a lot. 

But you can catch up with Best of BIO, our hand-curated selection of the best sessions—available for free!

If you’re in the agriculture and environment space, Best of BIO IMPACT Digital features Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as well as innovative ideas about how to eliminate waste, clean up the air, and secure a resilient bioeconomy.

Thinking about biotech investment? Best of BIO Investor Forum Digital includes conversations on the state of biotech VC and the market outlook.

Catch up now.

 
 
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 
BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

President Trump’s Wednesday: Campaign rally in Gastonia, NC. Meanwhile, Trump and Biden “gird for the final debate of a bitter campaign,” says The Washington Post

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: “With just two weeks until the U.S. presidential election, Trump signaled a willingness to go along with more than $2.2 trillion in new COVID-19 relief, a figure Democrats have been pushing for months,” reports Reuters.

 
 
Paragraph (normal) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus sample link.
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook