Confronting Disparities: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status as Intersectional Determinants in the COVID-19 Era.

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The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic has exposed long-standing inequalities in U.S. health care. Historically, racial and ethnic minorities have been the most likely to suffer from inadequate health care access and insurance coverage. With the spread of COVID-19, these disparities have dramatically increased. Focusing on native and foreign-born racial/ethnic minorities, this article discusses how entrenched health inequities and structural discrimination have led to COVID-19 morbidities and mortalities. Considering that “essential” frontline workers are disproportionately native and foreign-born racial/ethnic minorities, this work evaluates the impact(s) of social exclusion and the lack of support systems for these workers. Using the framework of intersectionality, this work also examines how race and immigrant status affect COVID-19 spread in prisons and immigration detention centers-facilities that often lack effective health and sanitary conditions and where inmates are also likely to be racial/ethnic minorities.

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Authors: Denise N Obinna