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Communities Of Color Are Carrying The Brunt Of The Pandemic

Mother looks at food and essential items that were delivered to her.
Mother looks at food and essential items that were delivered to her.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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It’s no secret that communities of color, particularly Latino and African American households, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, these groups have seen a larger number of coronavirus cases and have financially been hit harder by the economic fallout that has accompanied the pandemic. 

Prior to the COVID outbreak, many communities were not equipped with the resources that could prepare them for a natural disaster like the pandemic. Six months into the crisis, even with the amount of government assistance and private programs established to help create financial safety for households, we now see it wasn’t enough to help many families. A new poll published by NPR, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that about 71% of Latino households and 52% of Black households in Los Angeles County have experienced serious financial problems during the pandemic, compared to 37% of whites. There are many other factors that have played into why communities of color have been more greatly impacted by the virus. These are communities with people who are more likely to be essential workers, live in multigenerational households, and lack efficient access to healthcare. 

Today on AirTalk, we dig a little deeper into how and why communities of color have had greater hardships in regards to the pandemic. How has the pandemic affected your life? Do you identify as a person of color? How have you had to adjust? Has the pandemic only exacerbated any prior challenges you were already facing? We want to hear your thoughts. Comment below or call 866-893-5722.

With guest host Elly Yu


Robert Blendonprofessor emeritus of public health policy and political analysis at Harvard; executive director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School and co-director of the organization’s most recent poll “The Impact of Coronavirus On Households In Major U.S. Cities” 

Manuel Pastor, professor of sociology and American studies & ethnicity at USC; director of the USC Equity Research Institute; he is a member of Governor Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery; he tweets at @Prof_MPastor

Paul Simon, M.D., chief science officer and the at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Deborah Prothrow-StithM.D., dean and professor of medicine for the College of Medicine at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, a private historically black graduate school in Los Angeles