White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a virtual commencement speech Sunday, where he claimed the COVID-19 pandemic exposed “the undeniable effects of racism” in the United States.
Fauci was a keynote speaker at Emory University’s commencement ceremony Sunday, where he made the remarks about the “stark reality and failing of our own society” uncovered by COVID-19.
“Let us promise ourselves our memory of this tragic reality – that an infectious disease disparately kills people of color – does not fade. Righting this wrong will take a decades-long commitment. I urge you to be part of that commitment,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told #Emory2021 grads pic.twitter.com/JnE05x6QtX
— Emory University (@EmoryUniversity) May 16, 2021
“Many members of minority groups have a much greater risk of COVID-19 often because of the nature of the jobs that many of them have as essential workers,” Fauci said.
“When people of color get infected with SARS-CoV-2, they more likely will develop a severe consequence of the infection, and this is because minorities in general have a greater incidence and prevalence of underlying comorbid medical conditions, including hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes and obesity that lead to a multifold increase in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, compared with the general population,” Fauci said. “Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants. Almost all relate to the social determinants of health.”
Fauci then proceeded to lament the “disadvantageous conditions” that many people of color are born into, including “the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”
“Let us promise ourselves that our corporate memory of this tragic reality that an infectious disease disparately hospitalized and kills people of color does not fade after we return to some form of normality,” Fauci said, addressing the college graduates.
“Righting this wrong will take a decades-long commitment. I strongly urge you to be part of that commitment,” he added. (RELATED: Fauci Still Thinks Children Need To Wear Masks)
Fauci blamed institutional racism for its role in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among the black community, testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in June 2020.
“Would I consider institutional racism as contributing?… Obviously, the African American community has suffered from racism for a very, very long period of time, and I cannot imagine that hasn’t contributed… so the answer, congressman, is ‘yes,'” he said at the time.