How the White House COVID-19 health equity director plans to tackle health disparities

The Biden administration's COVID-19 health equity director, Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, is determined to better understand underlying factors that cause health disparities for people in minority communities, she told NBC." We have a complicated intersectional web that we are now coming to understand better," Dr. Nunez-Smith said. "Structural racism is real."

Her approach to addressing disparities is two-pronged: 

1. She questions why gaps in equity are so predictable.

"Why weren't my colleagues able to predict the disparate impacts that we now see in the pandemic?" she asked.

2. She intends to disrupt the predictability of what communities are always hit hardest.

"I imagine a future for our children and their peers, where they look back at this time with historical interest, like: 'Oh my goodness, can you believe the pandemic ravaged communities differently? That would never happen now,'" she said. "That's what I want them to inherit. I want our task force to work ourselves out of a job."

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