A Look at the COVID-19 Demographic Disparity

May 10, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

Why the virus is burdening US populations similar to other diseases.

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infects adults indiscriminately. But response to both the virus and care in infected adults seems to have discriminatory trends to it.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has previously reported a notable overrepresentation of black patients among the population hospitalized for the virus, and substantially greater mortality rates for black and Hispanic/Latino persons than white or Asian persons.

Unfortunately, this is a familiar trend in US healthcare. But what are the solutions when they’re needed during a pandemic?

In an interview with HCPLive®, Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, a Chicago-based internist and ASPEN Health Innovator, discussed the entire effect of poor health and care outcomes in minorities—from worsened to housing and stigma, to reduced care outreach and poor public health policies.

Bhatt also used his expertise as the former chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association to discuss the value of preventive-based care—especially for addressing the greater disparities being driven by the pandemic.

“I think there’s 14 different vaccine candidates at play, and I think there’s important investments that need to be made in that kind of work for testing, so we could get a vaccine for everyone,” he said.