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A participant in the NIH 2019-2020 Medical Research Scholars Program.

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With COVID spread, ‘racism — not race — is the risk factor’

Harvard experts take a hard look at environmental inequities

Faculty and researchers at Harvard and elsewhere agree that the disparity is a result of interrelated circumstances within the environments in which economically disadvantaged and minority populations live, reflecting systemic racism. The factors include aspects of the physical environment, such as greater exposure to pollution and less availability of healthy food. Just as important are the community environments of professional and social circles, where flexible work schedules, accessible and affordable health care, and reliable information all can make the difference between illness and health.