South Florida Doctor Speaks Out About COVID-19 Racial Disparities

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A South Florida doctor said the country needs to do more to vaccinate people of color. 

Dr. Bernard Ashby, a vascular cardiologist, said Black people are not getting their fair share of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“What we’re running into now is a lack of access to the vaccine,” he said. 

NBC News reports Black Americans have received the vaccine at dramatically lower rates than white Americans. 

“The disparities in the outcomes were predictable, that’s because we are under-resourced and underappreciated as a population,” said Dr. Ashby. 

He will be part of a virtual panel discussion Tuesday evening called "The Impact of Systemic Racism on Health and Access to the COVID Vaccine."

He explained why he’s decided to speak out. 

“Frankly, because I’m tired of it and this is an ongoing issue that pre-existed the pandemic and will exist after the pandemic,” he said. 

One solution he feels addresses the problem is providing health care for everyone. 

“If we structured a system that actually was more integrated and actually increased access, meaning provide care for everyone in the U.S., that would actually lead to decreased deaths first of all, and also improve quality life for our entire country,” Dr. Ashby said. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are dying from COVID at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.

Dr. Ashby wants the health care system to go after those with less access. 

“We have way too many folks without healthcare,” he said. “We have way too many folks who are getting inferior healthcare and it really begins with prioritizing our population and targeting them.”

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