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Robert Fullilove, an expert on public health at Columbia University, tells Axios' Dion Rabouin that racial disparities in health shouldn't surprise anyone because their causes are baked into multiple aspects of American society.

  • "Let's just see racism as one of the ways that determines where you're gonna live and what kinds of conditions you're going to be exposed to," he said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."
  • "If race is the factor that really dictates what kind of job you're gonna have, what kind of education you're gonna have to qualify you for some kind of employment, almost all the things that put you at a disadvantage — almost everything that's gonna put you on the margins of society — are also gonna be the set of things that put you at unique vulnerability and risk of being impacted by an epidemic, such as the one we're seeing right now."
  • "In a society where the quality of your health depends on how much money you can spend to assure your health, why are we surprised that folks with little money are also folks who are most likely to become sick? And then COVID-19 comes along."

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
Sep 17, 2020 - Health

The risks of moving too fast on a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The scientific race for a coronavirus vaccine is moving at record-shattering speed. Making the most of that work — translating a successful clinical product into real-world progress — will require some patience.

Why it matters: If we get a vaccine relatively soon, the next big challenge will be balancing the need to get it into people's hands with the need to keep working on other solutions that might prove more effective.

Poll: Biden beats Trump on health care, but it's not the top issue

Reproduced from the Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Swing voters in three swing states prefer Joe Biden over President Trump on health care and the coronavirus — but those aren't their most important issues, according to the latest KFF-Cook Political Report poll.

The big picture: The economy is the most important issue to these voters, and they give the advantage there to Trump. But Biden dominates the next tier of issues in this poll of swing voters in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.