Racial And Ethnic Economic Inequality And The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Above photo: People wait in line for masks and food in Harlem in New York City in April. Bebeto Matthews/The Associated Press.

The Democracy Collaborative prepared a report, created for the Healthcare Anchor Network, that looked at how racial and ethnic disparities in the economy are showing up in the COVID-19 pandemic and in the public policy response to the pandemic. The report also covers how the economic effects of the pandemic will likely impact racial and ethnic inequality.

Every passing day brings new, painful evidence of how the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color in the United States. Moreover, as this paper demonstrates, there are also clear links emerging between racial and ethnic economic inequities, structural racism, and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on people of color. While these connections do not come as a surprise to the many experts who have studied the intersections of racial and ethnic inequality, economic conditions, and public health for decades, we felt that it was important to begin reviewing and analyzing the emerging data and evidence on these links and interactions. We believe that the data presented in this paper suggests a clear need to redouble our efforts to address racial economic inequality and build and democratize wealth in low-income communities both as part of the COVID-19 recovery, and in general.

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