MSM President and Dean Co-Authors Op-Ed: Black medical leaders: Coronavirus magnifies racial inequities, with deadly consequences

Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG stands with other academic deans and healthcare leaders across the nation to develop a call-to-action for refining our governmental and health care responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A national crisis magnifies disparities and inequities in our society. While anyone can be infected by the CoV-SARS-2 virus, the effects of the ongoing pandemic — including the responses from our government and our health care system — do not impact everyone equally. We believe the COVID-19 pandemic is radically exacerbating the deadly consequences of racial and socioeconomic disparities in health and health care in America, creating a crisis within a crisis. 

We are seeing mounting evidence of pronounced disparities in early reports of how African-Americans are weathering the pandemic. In Michigan and Illinois, more than 40% of deaths are among African Americans, who make up just 14% and 15% of their populations, respectively. In Louisiana, African Americans represent 70% of deaths, but account for only 33% of the state’s population.

These alarming outcomes are in large part the result of longstanding inequities in an array of health determinants, including limited access to health care (especially primary care), and limited access to affordable housing and fresh foods. These have led to higher rates of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes and renal failure that increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 among minority populations."

Read full article from USA Today

List of Co-Authors

Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS (Lead Author)
Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean, UAB School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

L.D. Britt, M.D., MPH
Chair, Department of Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Past President, American College of Surgeons

Deborah V. Deas, M.D., MPH
Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs
Pam and Mark Rubin Dean
University of California Riverside School of Medicine 

Henri R. Ford, M.D., MHA
Dean, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Meharry Medical College 

Danny O. Jacobs, M.D., MPH, FACS
President, Oregon Health and Science University 

Robert L. Johnson, M.D., FAAP
Dean, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Interim Dean, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Talmadge E. King Jr., M.D.
Dean, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine

Ted W. Love, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Blood Therapeutics

Charles P. Mouton, M.D., M.S.
Executive Vice President, Provost, and Dean
The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine  

E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., MBA
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore 
Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., FACOG
President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine

Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., MPH
Professor and Interim Dean
University of Florida College of Medicine

David S. Wilkes, M.D.
Dean, University of Virginia School of Medicine