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COVID-19 Pandemic, Unemployment, and Civil UnrestUnderlying Deep Racial and Socioeconomic Divides

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 is highlighting the racial and socioeconomic divides within the United States
1 Credit CME

More than 110 000 people have died in the US because of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, a pathogen that was unknown just 6 months ago. Ubiquitous fear and anxiety that accompanied the emergence of the new coronavirus led to widespread limits on physical contact in attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus. That in turn brought the US economy to a halt, resulting in more than 40 million people filing for unemployment, approximating numbers not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the past month, the killing of several unarmed black men and women—Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd— has spurred widespread civil unrest, with night after night of demonstrations demanding reform of systems of policing that have disproportionately harmed black people for centuries.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, School of Public Health, Boston University, 715 Albany St, Boston, MA 02118 (sgalea@bu.edu).

Published Online: June 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11132

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Galea reported receiving consulting fees from Sharecare and Tivity Health. No other disclosures were reported.

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