• Estimating the Effect of Social Distancing Interventions on COVID-19 in the United States | American Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic

    We estimated the effect of interventions across all states, contrasted the estimated reproduction number, Rt, for each state before and after lockdown, and contrasted predicted future fatalities with actual fatalities as a check on the model’s validity. Overall, school closures and lockdown are the only interventions modeled that have a reliable impact on Rt, and lockdown appears to have played a key role in reducing Rt below 1.0. We conclude that reversal of lockdown, without implementation of additional, equally effective interventions, will enable continued, sustained transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.

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  • Racial Capitalism within Public Health: How Occupational Settings Drive COVID-19 Disparities | American Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic

    In the U.S., White adults have better average lung function and worse hearing than Black adults. Both impaired lung function and hearing are criteria for Worker’s compensation, which is ultimately paid by industry.

    Compensation for respiratory injury is determined using a race-specific algorithm. For hearing, there is no race adjustment.

    Selective use of race-specific algorithms for workers’ compensation reduces industries’ liability for worker health, illustrating racial capitalism operating within public health.

    Widespread and unexamined belief in inherent physiological inferiority of Black Americans perpetuates systems that limit industry payouts for workplace injuries. We see a parallel in the epidemiology of COVID-19 disparities. We tell stories of industries implicated in the outbreak and review how they exemplify racial capitalism. We call on public health professionals to: critically evaluate who is served and neglected by data analysis; and center structural determinants of health in etiological evaluation.

    #compensation #biais #racisme