Is There A Racial Disparity In Coronavirus Treatment?

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston recently started reporting race and ethnicity demographics for COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Dr. Jon Santiago is Massachusetts' 9th District State Representative and an emergency room doctor.

He says it's too soon to tell whether Boston has a significant racial disparity, but there are some troubling numbers.

"City of Boston...all over the country, there's significant health inequity, particularly drawn across lines of race and class," Dr. Santiago said. "So it's no surprise that when COVID-19 hit, that these inequities would be exacerbated."

He said that's what he sees in the emergency room, as well as on the policy making level.

In the emergency room, inequity looks like low-income patients who live in multi-generational homes, who come in with coronavirus symptoms and cannot social distance because they're essential workers, according to Dr. Santiago.

This also affects how these hospitals receive government help.

Since these economic groups also tend to have other health complications, such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity, when ventilators are being rationed out, there is a preference for the healthier communities.

"It's important to realize that for health, the demographics and zip codes, often define them," Dr. Santiago said. "COVID-19 has just exacerbating what most of us already knew."

WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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