I see the America of Rana Zoe Mungin, a 30-year-old Black woman. She died on April 27 from Covid-19 after being turned away from hospitals twice, despite having a fever and shortness of breath.
Mungin, a well-educated Black woman with a bright future, lived in the America of pseudo-choice. Despite her education, full time job, and benefits, she was denied care.
I see my friend Anne’s America. She struggles to pay for life-saving medication for her pre-existing autoimmune disease, despite working and having insurance. Anne, a woman of color, worries about losing access to health care if the Trump administration dismantles the Affordable Care Act.
She lives in the America that wavers precariously between few choices and no choices. Today, she lives with few choices. Tomorrow she may have none.
Finally, I see the America of Donald Trump, who received oxygen at home and proprietary experimental treatments. He was flown to a first-class medical facility and stayed in a suite more spacious than my apartment.
Trump lives in the America of choice and privilege. He is cavalier with his Covid-19 diagnosis and in exposing others because he will always get top-shelf care.
Covid-19 has hit Black and brown Americans especially hard due to racial health inequities that can have a domino effect across a lifetime.
Limited access to quality healthcare means Black and brown people experience higher levels of disability and are more likely to need long-term care. Yet insufficient community-based services in our neighborhoods cause us to be placed in nursing homes, where we’re more likely to contract and die from Covid-19.