Study: Millions Face Double Jeopardy from COVID-19

More than 18 million Americans, most of whom are minorities and low-income individuals, are uninsured or underinsured and are at an increased risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19.
Study: Millions Face Double Jeopardy from COVID-19
June 17, 2020

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and CUNY’s Hunter College found that more than 18 million Americans, most of whom are minorities and low-income individuals, are uninsured or underinsured and are at an increased risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19.

“Our study shows that minority communities face double jeopardy from COVID-19. On the one hand, they are at higher risk of severe complications from coronavirus, and on the other hand, they are more likely to be uninsured and underinsured, and hence to avoid care or to face potentially ruinous medical bills,” said Dr. Adam Gaffney, the study’s lead author and a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.

Black Americans were 42 percent more likely to be at risk for severe COVID-19 and 51 percent more likely to have inadequate health care coverage than high-risk non-Hispanic whites. Native Americans were 90 percent more likely to be at high risk for severe COVID-19 and 53 percent more likely to have inadequate health care coverage. Minorities are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because they are disproportionately represented in many professions deemed essential and many continued to go to work during lockdowns.


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