Study Finds Rate of COVID-19 in Massachusetts Jails and Prisons Is Three Times the General Rate in the State

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A recent epidemiological study finds that the rate of COVID-19 for incarcerated individuals in Massachusetts is almost three times that of the state’s general population and five times that of the U.S. general population. As shown in Figure B (caption below), the study also finds that higher rates of decarceration are linked to lower rates of COVID-19. Dr. Monik C. Jiménez, Tori L. Cowger, Dr. Lisa E. Simon, Maya Behn,…

Study Finds CDC Population Weighting Distorts Racial/Ethnic Inequities in U.S. COVID-19 Deaths

Table. Percentage Distribution by Race/Ethnicity for COVID-19 Deaths, CDC-NCHS–Weighted Population, and US Census Population and Absolute and Relative Differences Using Data as of May 13, 2020 more detail on content in text

A new research letter in JAMA Network Open argues that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underestimates the excess burden of COVID-19 deaths among Black, Latinx, and Asian communities by comparing the percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths by race/ethnicity with a weighted distribution of U.S. racial/ethnic populations rather than with corresponding U.S. Census data—a distortion that has the potential to affect resource allocation. FXB Center for Health…

Working Paper, The Unequal Toll of Covid-19 Mortality by Age in the United States: Quantifying Racial/Ethnic Disparities

FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Director Dr. Mary T. Bassett is the lead author of a new working paper exploring racial/ethnic differences in age-specific Covid-19 mortality rates in the U.S. The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Working Paper Series published the paper this week. Dr. Bassett collaborated with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Professor Nancy Krieger and Research Scientist Dr. Jarvis Chen in this…

Responding to the Domestic Violence Crisis of COVID-19

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By Roshni Chakraborty Worldwide, countries have imposed lockdowns and issued stay-at-home orders to mitigate the community transmission of COVID-19. For many, however, staying at home poses a greater threat to their health than leaving. Activists and governments around the world have reported an alarming spike in domestic violence since social distancing measures were adopted. The United Nations has called for a domestic violence “ceasefire,” raising its concerns about a “horrifying…

Dr. Mary T. Bassett’s Statement on COVID-19 for the Poor People’s Campaign

At the request of the Poor People’s Campaign, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, released the following statement on the health equity impact of COVID-19: The United States was woefully unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, and now has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world. This was preventable. Knowing the inadequacies of our country’s health care and social…

New Research on Socially Assigned Race and Health Inequity, and on Mass Incarceration and Preterm Birth

The 2019-20 Doctoral Student Cohort of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University continues to produce research on important social issues. Is Socially Assigned Race a Useful Category for Monitoring Racial Inequity in Health? A new International Journal for Equity in Health review examines the usefulness of socially assigned race, or the perception of one’s race by others, in monitoring and evaluating racial/ethnic inequities. Authored by…