S1E13 / A Black Plague / Helene Gayle and Aletha Maybank
“As a nation, we've got to put in place a public health system that includes disease preparedness, so that we're ready for whatever is the next shock. And that all of us, no matter who we are, what social-economic status, what race, ethnicity, what job we have, that we don't have to go through this again. It's in our hands. We can do it. And it is within our reach to be able to end these sorts of unacceptable wealth and health disparities.” - Dr. Helene Gayle
In today’s episode, co-hosts Dr. Celine Gounder and Ron Klain speak with Dr. Helene Gayle, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, and Dr. Aletha Maybank, the Chief Equity Officer at the American Medical Association, about the health and wealth gaps that exist in poorer communities in the US, and how COVID-19 has widened these gaps, leaving members of these communities more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. They also discuss how racial stereotypes are affecting many people’s abilities to follow public health guidelines, such as the use of face masks. Finally, they discuss how, in order to move past these stereotypes and biases, we need good data, and policies informed by this data, as cases of COVID-19 are likely being underreported in communities of color, leading to a lack of help in areas that need it most.
Listener Q&A: Is it possible to safely reopen the country before herd immunity or a vaccine? What can we expect from the second wave of COVID-19 cases when social distancing measures are lifted, and what can we learn from prior pandemics to prepare?
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