How Racial Health Disparities Will Play Out in the Pandemic

The federal government has failed its populace in many ways since the COVID-19 pandemic reached American soil. It began early on with an inadequate supply of test kits being provided to clinicians, compounded when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted strict criteria for which patients could even receive one.

Dr. Uché Blackstock notes that discriminatory effects were embedded into those criteria. The initial CDC recommendations discouraged doctors from testing every patient who came in with a fever, coughing, and difficult breathing. A test, they said, should only be performed if those symptoms presented in someone who had recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 cases were prevalent, or if they had come into close contact with someone who had already been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

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