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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Health Disparities and COVID-19

What you should know about: The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on the Black Community

What you should know about: The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on the Black Community

Amana Liddell ’22

Amana Liddell '22 was a 2020-2021 Hackworth Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and is a biology and psychology double-major. Her project, Health Disparities and COVID-19 was completed as part of her Hackworth Fellowship. Views are her own.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African American community and other marginalized groups have been disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of the pandemic in a number of ways. Black Americans have made up a disproportionately large number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19. But these impacts are not unique to COVID-19; racial health disparities have been prevalent in the American health care system long before the pandemic. As a 2020-2021 Hackworth Fellow with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, I had the opportunity to spend my junior year researching and learning more about health care disparities in the Black community within the scope of COVID-19. I have learned that to make the necessary structural changes that will put an end to injustices in health care over time, it is crucial for the marginalized communities to be informed about the issues. But it is also incredibly important for everyone in the community, including those who are not part of the marginalized groups, to be more aware and knowledgeable as they lend support to those fighting for equal access to health care treatments and outcomes. We must start and continuously have conversations within the Black community and with others in the larger community to learn from shared experiences, educate each other, and raise awareness about the health care disparities that are harming the Black community and other marginalized groups.

Notably, vaccine hesitancy has been an obstacle for many African Americans due to poor prior experiences in medical situations, medical mistrust, misinformation, and more. For this reason, the purpose of the infographic is to provide Black people with reliable, scientific resources that can help them make informed medical decisions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, it aims to educate the broader community about health care inequities, provide a small portion of the history behind them, and suggest where to begin learning more. Ultimately, getting vaccinated is crucial to protecting oneself and the community from COVID-19 and is an especially important step to take for those in communities that have been disproportionately affected by this virus.

See downloadable PDF flyer below for more information and resources on health disparities and COVID-19, and see the project page for more information.


Oct 11, 2021

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Amana Liddell is a senior biology and psychology double-major from Renton, Washington. As a member of the Psychology Honors Program, Amana is currently conducting research into children’s understanding of germs, COVID-19, and contagion in Dr. Jui Bhagwat’s Developmental Psychology lab. Outside of her studies, Amana is the president of Delta Epsilon Mu, the Pre-Health Professional Co-Ed fraternity on campus, and a member of the SCU EMS Squad. 

Throughout her time at Santa Clara, Amana has developed a passion for ethics in health care, as she hopes to attend medical school and become a physician. During the 2020-2021 school year, Amana was a Hackworth Fellow at the Ethics Center and dove deeper into her passion for combating healthcare disparities by researching the disproportionate effects that COVID-19 had on the Black community and creating educational infographics to share with the community about getting vaccinated. Amana is excited to engage in more conversations with her peer about ethical dilemmas through the healthcare ethics internship.