From the New Haven Register:
By Ben Lambert Updated 3:15 pm EST, Saturday, November 7, 2020
NEW HAVEN — A professor with the Yale School of Medicine will serve as a co-chair of President-elect Joe Biden’s task force on the coronavirus, according to a report from CNN.
Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management and founding director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center, will be among three co-chairs of the group, two sources reportedly told CNN.
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler will also helm the group, CNN reported.
According to her biography on the Yale School of Medicine website, Nunez-Smith’s “research focuses on promoting health and health care equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on supporting health care workforce diversity and development, developing patient reported measurements of health care quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases.”
Originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nunez-Smith attended Jefferson Medical College, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, according to her biography. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology and psychology at Swarthmore College, according to her biography.
“We know that these racial ethnic disparities in COVID-19 are the result of pre-pandemic realities. It’s a legacy of structural discrimination that has limited access to health and wealth for people of color,” said Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center at Yale School of Medicine.
Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put African Americans at increased risk of getting infected and dying from COVID-19. Structural factors including health care access, density of households, unemployment, pervasive discrimination and others drive these disparities.
In contrast, high COVID death rates among blacks couldn’t possibly have anything to do with problems that blacks could actually do something about on their own initiative, like lose weight or like, as movie director Tyler Perry has suggested, get more Vitamin D during colder seasons.