Chicago — AMA Immediate Past President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., was to tell the House Budget Committee today that marginalized and minoritized communities were facing a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

During the hearing on Health and Wealth Inequality in America: How COVID-19 Makes Clear the Need for Change, Harris' prepared testimony identified three factors behind the greater risk facing Black communities:

  • Structural inequities that are a consequence of long-time racist policies, practices, and procedures that determine access to comprehensive health care and social determinants of health that are influenced by bias and racial discrimination
  • Pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity that disproportionately impact the African-American community
  • An increased likelihood of working essential jobs, such as bus drivers, train operators, custodians, and in supermarkets, meatpacking plants, hospitals and nursing homes

To reduce health inequities, Harris was to say the AMA will work to address implicit/unconscious bias and structural racism, collect more accurate data, address social determinants of health, and invest in professional diversity.

The text of her remarks are here

The webcast hearing can be accessed here

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

ph: (202) 789-7442

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

Featured Stories