Could Clinician Sensitivity to Cultural and Historical Considerations Help Reduce COVID-19 Deaths among Blacks?

Authors: David Kountz, MD, Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, Veronica Vital, PhD, RN, Setu Vora, MD, Ryan Gough, BS, Jessica Seyfried, MPH, MSW


During the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many magazines and newspapers have published articles reflecting on lessons learned during the crisis. One of the most sobering lessons that data on the pandemic have highlighted is the fractured state of health equity in the United States. The staggering impact of the >600,000 deaths from COVID-19 has been most prominently felt by the Black community, where the rates of infection and mortality are far in excess of those of Whites.
Posted in: Infectious Disease118

Full Article

Having trouble viewing the article content below? Click here to open it directly.


1. New York State Department of Health. COVID-19: fatalities. https:// Published April 2020. Accessed June 2020.
2. Reyes C, Husain N, Gutowski C, et al. Chicago’s coronavirus disparity: Black Chicagoans are dying at nearly six times the rate of white residents, data show. vgjzb2wa4ckivh7mu-story.html. Published April 7, 2020. Accessed June 2020.
3. Millett GA, Jones AT, Benkeser D, et al. Assessing differential impacts of COVID-19 on black communities. Ann Epidemiol 2020;47:37–44.
4. Marinac CR, Ghobrial IM, Birmann BM, et al. Dissecting racial disparities in multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer J 2020;10:19.
5. Rodriguez BC, Acharya P, Salazar-Fields C, et al. Comparison of frequency of referral to cardiothoracic surgery for aortic valve disease in blacks, Hispanics, and whites. Am J Cardiol 2017;120:450–455.
6. Yankey G, Samad Z, Wu A, et al. Aortic valve replacement and outcomes in patients with severe aortic stenosis: is it black or white? J Am Coll Cardiol 2018;71(11 suppl):A2010.
7. Schpero WL, Morden NE, Sequist TD, et al. For selected services, blacks and Hispanics more likely to receive low-value care than whites. Health Aff 2017;36:1065–1069.
8. Brooks OT. Diversity in medicine: the low levels of black clinicians to provide black on black care is a crime. J Natl Med Assoc 2019;111:469.
9. Alsan M, Garrick O, Graziani GC. Does diversity matter for health? Experimental evidence from Oakland. Am Econ Rev 2019;109:4071–4111.
10. Milam AJ, Furr-Holden D, Edwards-Johnson J, et al. Are clinicians contributing to excess African American COVID-19 deaths? Unbeknownst to them, they may be. Health Equity 2020;4:139–141.
11. US Food & Drug Administration. 2019 Drug Trials Snapshots Summary Report. Available at: ses/drug-trials-snapshots.
12. Clark LT, Watkins L, Piña IL, et al. Increasing diversity in clinical trials: overcoming critical barriers. Curr Prob Cardiol 2019;44:148–172.
13. Emanuel EJ, Persad G, Upshur R, et al. Fair allocation of scarce medical resources in the time of Covid-19. N Engl J Med 2020;382: 2049–2055.
14. Flynn PT, Betancourt H, Emerson ND, et al. Health professional cultural competence reduces the psychological and behavioral impact of negative healthcare encounters. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2020;26: 271–279.
15. Henderson S, Horne M, Hills B, et al. Cultural competence in healthcare in the community: a concept analysis. Health Soc Care Community 2018;26:590–603.