Racial Capitalism: A Fundamental Cause of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Inequities in the United States

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Racial capitalism is a fundamental cause of the racial and socioeconomic inequities within the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the United States. The overrepresentation of Black death reported in Detroit, Michigan is a case study for this argument. Racism and capitalism mutually construct harmful social conditions that fundamentally shape COVID-19 disease inequities because they (a) shape multiple diseases that interact with COVID-19 to influence poor health outcomes; (b) affect disease outcomes through increasing multiple risk factors for poor, people of color, including racial residential segregation, homelessness, and medical bias; (c) shape access to flexible resources, such as medical knowledge and freedom, which can be used to minimize both risks and the consequences of disease; and (d) replicate historical patterns of inequities within pandemics, despite newer intervening mechanisms thought to ameliorate health consequences. Interventions should address social inequality to achieve health equity across pandemics.

Keywords: HEPSA II, Area 4, Health Equity, Ethics

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