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Opinion: "COVID’s Outsize Impact on Asian Americans Is Being Ignored"

Scientific American quoted Dr. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, in an opinion piece about the pandemic’s impact on Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Headlines, health experts and policy makers rarely talk about COVID and Asian American disparities. Yet reports show that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) suffer from disproportionately high COVID death rates and hospitalizations. To make matters worse, their suffering remains largely overlooked in a form of invisible but deadly racial bias. 

In an analysis of 50 million U.S. patients, Asians were most likely to die from COVID and to be hospitalized compared to white patients, according to a September 2020 report from Kaiser Family Foundation and Epic Health Research Network. 

Media outlets did not flag COVID’s impact on Asian Americans. Yet among patients who tested positive for COVID, Asians were 57 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 49 percent more likely to die compared to whites with similar sociodemographic characteristics and underlying health conditions. Hispanics were 53 percent and 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized and die compared to whites, followed by Blacks patients at 33 percent and 19 percent respectively, said the Kaiser/Epic report.