Why are Black Americans more likely to die from COVID-19?

Health care workers test people at a drive-thru testing station run by the state health department, for people who suspect they have novel coronavirus, in Denver, Colorado, U.S. March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

“When you live in a society that is not colorblind, you can’t have colorblind policies. Instead what we need are health equity policies.” In this episode of The Current, Brookings Rubenstein Fellow Rashawn Ray attributes the huge racial gap in coronavirus death rates to both the over-representation of Black workers in essential jobs, like transit, grocery, cleaning, health care, and the structural inequities that have long affected Black neighborhoods.  He argues that in response, local and federal leaders need policies that will empower the disenfranchised people and places being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Thanks to audio producer Gaston Reboredo, Chris McKenna, Fred Dews, and Camilo Ramirez for their support.

The Current is part of the Brookings Podcast Network.