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Research Note: The Impact of Systemic Racism on Responses to and Recovery from COVID-19: A Comparative Analysis of Policy and Practice in New York City and Detroit

Simone Martin-Howard, Ruth Damour & Tracey Robinson
JHHSA, Vol. 44 No. 4, 360-375 (2022)

When COVID-19 was first reported in the United States in spring 2020, it illuminated society to the vast inequities that racially marginalized populations face in comparison to their White counterparts. Metropolitan areas, in particular, were hit the hardest by the pandemic. New York City and Detroit, cities with large numbers of racially marginalized populations, experienced high COVID-19 test positivity rates during the pandemic’s first and second waves. It is the aim of this research note to provide policymakers, practitioners, and healthcare personnel with an overview of response and recovery efforts through an analysis of the intersection between racially marginalized groups and access to healthcare in New York City and Detroit. We propose three recommendations: 1) increased centralized data on the differences between racially marginalized populations and non-minorities; 2) additional federal funding to local health departments; and 3) the utilization of faith-based and community-based organizations as additional COVID-19 testing sites.

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