On Tuesday, April 7, Dr. Anthony Fauci voiced to the what Black Americans have known since their ancestors were forced to it shores – America isn’t fair. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly three decades said the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is illuminating the depth of the country’s inequitable conditions for Black people, Business Insider (BI) reported.
During the coronavirus press briefing at the White House, Fauci returned to the podium to address the disparate rate at which Black Americans are becoming critical and fatal from the disease.
“And the reason I want to bring it up, because I couldn’t help sitting there reflecting on how sometimes when you’re in the middle of a crisis, like we are now with the coronavirus, it really does have, ultimately, shine a very bright light on some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society,” Fauci said.
He spoke about the stigma that surrounded the gay community during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and said he could draw parallels between then and now.
“I see a similarity here because health disparities have always existed for the African American community, but here again, with the crisis, how it’s shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is because yet again when you have a situation like the coronavirus, they are suffering disproportionately,” Fauci said.
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Fauci said it is a nationwide trend, but was careful to note that Black Americans were not getting infected at higher rates, but rather ending up in intensive care and dying more rapidly due to pre-existing health conditions and other disparities.
“When they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions, the diabetes, the hypertension, the obesity, the asthma, those are the kind of things that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate,” Fauci said.
He echoed fellow coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx, who spoke on the subject earlier. He added the overall disparities that existed among Black Americans really needed to be dealt with.
“So when all this is over and as we said, it will end, we will get over coronavirus, but there will still be health disparities which we really do need to address in the African American community,” Fauci said.