It’s been said that the novel coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, but the data tell a different story. With more states now tracking COVID-19 deaths by race, the reported numbers clearly illustrate that African Americans and other historically disadvantaged groups including Asian Americans and Latinx Americans are experiencing disproportionally high death rates. The challenge of health disparities in America is not new. But the coronavirus pandemic has put it front and center. How do we understand what lies behind these numbers? How do we ensure this crisis becomes an inflection point in the fight to achieve health equity in the U.S.?
Watch Dr. Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, discuss these questions and more with Joanne Kenen, Executive Health Care Editor at POLITICO. This conversation took place on May 12, 2020, as part of the Aspen Ideas: Health 20/20 digital series.
Dr. Patrice Harris
President, American Medical Association
Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, became the 174th president of the American Medical Association in June 2019, and the organization’s first African-American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate, and medical society lobbyist. She currently spearheads the AMA’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic as chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force. She has served on the AMA’s Board of Trustees, Council on Legislation, and multiple task forces such as health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting. A distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Harris continues in private practice and consults with public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in health policy. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Emory University and an adjunct clinical assistant professor at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Executive Editor, Health Care, POLITICO
Joanne Kenen is executive editor of health care at POLITICO, where since 2011 she has led an expansion of its health coverage while also contributing to the POLITICO Agenda policy magazine. Kenen covered health for Reuters on Capitol Hill for more than a decade and wrote about end of life during a Kaiser Family Foundation fellowship in 2007. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, Kaiser Health News, and Health Affairs, among others. A regular panelist on KHN’s “What the Health” podcast, she has been a radio and TV commentator, a frequent speaker and moderator, and a Fellow at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.