Stale FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the “underlying problems” of racial inequity in the U.S. need to be addressed in declare to stop the coronavirus pandemic which is impacting communities of shade at disproportionate rates.
“I think it be a symptom of broader racial inequities in our country that we need to work to resolve,” he said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Gottlieb said the assure needs to be addressed at two levels: why there are greater rates of COVID-19 and greater death rates from the coronavirus among black Americans.
“And the first has to get with a lot of problems of socioeconomic factors, low income problems related to overcrowded housing, the place folks work, the fact that they have to take crowded transportation, that they work in essential jobs, that they’ve had to continue to work and did not have fair PPE at work,” he said. “Now we have considered black communities and Hispanic and Latino communities disproportionately in these kinds of circumstances.”
The 2d assure, on greater death rates, he said is due to dismal access to heath care, as successfully as “distrust of the health care machine” and “some discrimination” in health care.
“Stopping the pandemic is going to depend upon our ability to take care of our most medically and socially vulnerable. We absolutely need to resolve these underlying problems to eliminate the threat of pandemic spreading of the epidemic,” he said.
CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked Gottlieb what the response ought to be from elected officials.
“It be taking resources and trying to get it into communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the disease,” he said. “You think of folks from communities that are disadvantaged. They already lack access to health care. They lack access to testing. So they’re not only at greater threat, they get not have the same health care alternatives.”
He also said officials need to “make clear that COVID would not develop to be punitive,” and that being diagnosed with the disease doesn’t mean someone will lose their job.
“We want to encourage them to get examined and self-name,” he said.