Conversation January 19, 2022
Abubakarr Jalloh

From the earliest days of the pandemic, COVID-19 has wrought a far higher toll in communities of color than in the general population – thrusting the long-standing issue of health disparities in the U.S. into the attention of public health officials and the general public.

Even though non-Hispanic white people make up 60% of the population, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States have borne significantly higher risks of COVID-19 infections than white people, as well as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

So a conversation is raging among doctors, health researchers, public health officials, policymakers and activists about how to address the social determinants of health that are driving this unequal toll on communities of color.

I am a global public health professor with expertise in multicultural health and health disparities. My...

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