Institutional racism plays a role in the disproportionate impact that coronavirus has had on Black communities, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a congressional hearing on June 23.

Lawmakers questioned Fauci on racial disparities of the pandemic and the coronavirus. Fauci told them that the Black community has been facing a “double whammy.” He said that because Black adults might be essential workers and therefore be unable to social distance. And the fact that the Black community is also disproportionately affected by underlying conditions including diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease and high blood pressure. 

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These two things, Fauci said, “unfortunately we have a situation where it’s sort of a double whammy.” He added, “obviously, the African American community has suffered from racism for a very, very long period of time. I can’t imagine that that is not contributing to the conditions that they find themselves in, economically or otherwise.”

Fauci has commented on the racial disparities of the pandemic before. He told the US Department of Health and Human Services’ podcast “Learning Curve,” “African-Americans have suffered disproportionately from coronavirus disease. They’ve suffered in that their rate of infection is higher because of the nature of the economic status that many of them find themselves in where they’re outside working, being unable to physically separate. “And then when they do get infected, given the social determinants of health which make … them have a higher incidence of diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes,” Fauci said. “They are at much greater risk of suffering the deleterious consequences, including death.”

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu. Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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