Racism, Not Genetics, Explains Why Black Americans Are Dying Of COVID-19 - Scientific American Blog Network
How, then, do we explain that “black” and “white” still predict biological endpoints like hypertension, diabetes or—now—COVID-19? The answer is straightforward: Human biology is more than the #genome. Our environments, experiences and exposures have profound impacts on how our bodies develop, turning genetic potential into whole beings. Most of us learned this lesson in high school—#phenotype is the product of #genotype and environment—but we tend to forget it when it comes to race. If we take the lesson seriously, it becomes clear that systemic racism is as much a part of biology as genomes are: The conditions in which we develop—including limited access to healthy food, exposure to toxic pollutants, the threat of #police #violence or the injurious stress of racial #discrimination —influence the likelihood that any one of us will suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or serious complications from #COVID-19.