United States of Care Board Members, Drs. Bill Frist and Rhonda Medows published their call for COVID-19 to lead to action on health disparities in a Morning Consult op-ed.
To advance this effort, we call on policymakers at the state and federal level, health care providers, health systems, and health insurers to work together to break the chain of health disparities — amplified by COVID — by committing to the following:
- Outreach with communities of color: Provide COVID prevention outreach and care resources for communities of color now before the next wave of illness.
- Increase COVID tests in local communities now. We are pleased to see numerous nonprofits, cities and states stepping up to offer free COVID-19 testing at many protest locations. More local testing should continue in the upcoming weeks.
- Ensure there are enough community-built contact tracing programs that better meet the needs of people of color.
- Confirm improved local health care access, including Telehealth.
- Provide antiviral drugs (once proven effective) equitably to all patients in need.
- Commit to prioritizing future vaccine use for those at greater risk of higher mortality.