Fundamental equity in post-acute Covid-19 care

Moise Desvarieux, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Stark ethnic and economic disparities permeate both morbidity and mortality due to acute Covid-19 infection. This is true in the US and in Europe. In Louisiana where 15% of the population is Black, 30% of confirmed cases and 42% of deaths occurred among Blacks. Similar disparities are noted in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. In France, the Seine-Saint-Denis Department, the country’s poorest outside its overseas territories, is also heavily and disproportionately affected, with +63% increase in deaths over the last two weeks compared to last year. Some of these disparities are thought to be due to pre-existing chronic conditions, line-of-work interactions and living conditions. We fear that disparities exhibited during the acute phase will only be exacerbated in post-acute Covid-19 phase of physical, mental and economic rehabilitation. We propose to investigate and document the impact of the post-acute phase in socially-disadvantaged populations bi-continentally in the US and Europe (France,...). We also aim to propose options to alleviate these impacts. While coordinated in the Department of Epidemiology, this project aims to be multi-disciplinary and inclusive of all talents as necessitated by a subject of such import. As the acute phase, post-acute Covid-19 response will also benefit from learning from each other nationally and internationally.