African-American communities suffer from institutional racism amid COVID-19: Fauci
Institutional racism contributes to why African-Americans have been hit harder than white groups amid the COVID-19 pandemic, White House health adviser Anthony Fauci has said.
"Obviously the African-American community has suffered from racism for a very, very long period of time," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday.
"And I cannot imagine that that has not contributed to the conditions that they find themselves in, economically and otherwise," he said in response to the question of Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush regarding the virus' toll on black people.
Because of economic and other considerations, jobs that the majority of African-Americans undertake do not allow them to protect themselves by working online, posing "a greater risk of infection from work," the specialist explained.
Compared with white communities, the African-American population is "clearly disproportionately" exposed to the underlying co-morbid conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease and kidney disease, Fauci noted.
"So unfortunately we have a situation where it's sort of a double whammy of a negative capability of them to respond through no fault of their own, because of underlying conditions," he said.