Op-Ed: The coronavirus could hit the U.S. harder than other wealthy countries

Headshots of Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Dr. Natalia Linos

In an Washington Post op-ed published today, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Director Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Executive Director Natalia Linos write about how the United States’ response to the coronavirus is likely to reveal deep failures and reinforce existing health inequities.

In it, they write: “The polarized political climate makes the threat posed by those long-standing inequities far more dangerous. At least three social phenomena have intensified in recent years, all of which could easily make the epidemic worse here: growing mistrust of institutions and science and an acceptance of ‘alternative facts’; a widely held belief in individual responsibility for disease prevention and a social solidarity gap; and a spike in anti-immigrant sentiment and ‘othering.’ Combined, these trends create unique vulnerabilities for the United States.”

The authors conclude the piece by calling for an intentional, human-rights-based response to the virus that focuses on health equity.

Read the full op-ed in the Washington Post.