Protecting High-Risk Individuals Means Considering the Economic Cost of COVID-19

Black man and girl wearing face masks purchasing items at store during coronavirus pandemic

Research shows that the risks and burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic are larger for marginalized populations, with Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous peoples more likely to contract and die of COVID. As the authors note, "while our current definition of populations at “high risk” includes people with an elevated risk of severe illness if infected—such as the elderly and immunocompromised—people at high risk of exposure who suffer worse health and socioeconomic consequences have largely been excluded."

They go on to say "It is important to note that ​​unlike most of their wealthy and white counterparts, people from marginalized communities lack the freedom to choose their level of exposure and the resources to ensure high standards of care. We therefore need targeted policies to provide a standard of safety for all."

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