Tucson Cardiologist Discusses Racial, Socioeconomic Disparities In COVID-19 Outcomes

Published: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 2:30pm

The COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd protests have brought to light many disparities faced by marginalized communities in the United States.

Among the disparities are access to fresh food, safe housing and stable employment that allows remote work. Many of the most marginalized people are essential workers — and they need to work and typically lack paid sick time. 

Speaking on "Arizona Horizon," Tucson cardiologist Dr. Khadijah Breathett says those disparities contribute to underlying conditions like diabetes and heart disease, leading to worse outcomes for the poor and people of color.

“Unfortunately it’s related in large part to cardiovascular disease," Breathett said. "As our viewers may not know, African Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, have the highest rates of cardiovascular disease.”

Coronavirus testing has been limited in poorer areas. In West Phoenix last weekend, people reported waiting in line outside for 13 hours for a test in triple-digit temperatures.

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