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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

As the Earth Stood Still, Black COVID-19 Patients Died Disproportionately in Hospitals

By Kevin L. Antoine, JD

African American man with coronavirus

Nationwide — A superpower made powerless. The world’s healthcare organizations have no medical cure. The global economy halted. Airplanes grounded. Cars parked. Schools and college campuses closed. Record-setting unemployment. Hospitals, morgues, and funeral homes overwhelmed. These are the days the earth stood still.

However, even during the pandemic, African-American COVID-19 patients are dying disproportionately. One study suggests that race is a major factor in COVID-19 treatment. The study found that Black patients with COVID-19 symptoms are tested far less than white patients.

Around the world, it’s the poor who live in overcrowded conditions and make up the essential workforce for most economies that are dying at alarming rates.

Humanity for all of its advancements in science, technology, pharmaceutical research and development, and DNA research, is in a battle for survival. Once the poor die the rich will die too.

COVID-19 has given humanity a glimpse of the blueprint that could cause humanity’s extinction. In biblical terms, it’s as deadly as the third horseman of the apocalypse, plague riding the pale horse. Worldwide COVID-19 has infected over 6 million people and almost 400,000 have died.
It didn’t have to happen. China could have been more transparent. The World Health Organization could have acted sooner on data it had that the coronavirus could become a pandemic. The United States’ reluctance to take the coronavirus seriously in January and February 2020 has resulted in unprecedented death and illness in America the beautiful. In the US over 1.5 million people have been infected and over 100,000 people have died.

For all that has gone wrong in the response to the coronavirus, humanity can still turn this around and defeat COVID-19. There is no, American cure, Chinese cure, or European cure. There is only a global cure that requires global cooperation not seen since the end of World War II. At the close of World War II, every country on the planet cooperated in forming the United Nations, drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Constitution of the World Health Organization.

Just as the end of World War II served as the catalyst for uniform global cooperation in the mid 20th century, COVID-19 is now that catalyst for the early 21st century. Even as Trump begins the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, global cooperation and leadership will still be needed.

If Trump is defeated in November, the United States can participate again in a global effort in vaccine research and development, antibody research and development, non-discriminatory distribution of the cure when discovered, and universal free access to the cure regardless of race, gender, disability, or economic status, for all afflicted by this contagion. This is humanity’s “Great Crusade” of the 21st century!

Those with ears let them hear!

Kevin L. Antoine, JD, is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar and former Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health. He’s the Vice President & Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania. He can be contacted by email at kevinantoine@icloud.com

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