Fauci says it is ‘undeniable’ that racism has made Covid worse in US


White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci told the graduating class of 2021  Sunday that “the undeniable effects of racism” have led to disparities that negatively affected people of color throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking to Emory University graduates by webcast, Fauci said that “COVID-19 has shone a bright light,” on American society’s failings, The Associated Press reported. But Fauci told the audience the cause of the disparities were caused largely by societal determinants instead of medical comorbidities. 


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“Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” Fauci said. “Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases urged the class not to forget the “disproportionate” rate at which COVID-19 hospitalized and killed people of color, adding that the root issues will take decades to correct, according to the AP. 

Still, Fauci encouraged the group to remember the dangers of division, especially in an ongoing public health crisis. 

“Societal divisiveness is counterproductive in a pandemic.We must not be at odds with each other since the virus is the enemy, not each other,” Fauci said. 


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“Not since the influenza pandemic of 1918 has humanity faced a public health crisis of this magnitude,” he added. “Each of you deserves enormous respect for your extraordinary adaptability, resilience and dedication to learning, completing your studies and graduating despite immense difficulties and uncertainties.”

Fauci was awarded The Emory University president’s medal on Sunday. Past recipients of the university honor include civil rights icon John Lewis, former President Jimmy Carter, and the Dalai Lama.


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