When the COVID-19 pandemic is finally over, it will be for public health officials (and communicators!) But one important finding needs our attention now: COVID affects people of color to a disproportionately large extent.
System-level changes are required to address this issue – and that’s why we were excited to hear from the new Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Founded by President Bidens Implementing Ordinance to Ensure Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery, Task Force will make recommendations to address health inequalities related to the COVID-19 pandemic – and avoid these inequalities in the future.
(Although the task force is brand new, it’s getting off to a fair start from Sending COVID-19 vaccines directly to federally qualified health centers – Providers of safety nets that address underserved populations.)
According to the executive order, the members of the task force will come from inside and outside the federal government and include people with real experience of health inequalities in their own communities – such as the woman charged with leading it. Yes the Task Force is headed by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an adjunct professor of internal medicine, public health, and management at Yale University – and just us.
If you don’t know a lot about Dr. Nunez-Smith know, in her own words, let’s give you an idea of where she’s from (as quoted in the New York Times):
“Ensuring that the communities hardest hit by the pandemic have access to safe and effective vaccines remains a priority. [But] What is required to ensure equity in recovery is not limited to health and healthcare. We have to hold discussions about housing stability and food security and educational equality as well as ways to economic opportunities and promises. “
Conclusion: The creation of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force is a step in the right direction – and we are excited to see where Dr. Nunez-Smith will lead.
Tweet about it: We have a lot to do to address health inequalities in the United States. This week @CommunicateHlth chats about the new Biden-Harris # COVID19 Health Equity Task Force: https://bit.ly/2NnO3GY
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