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Q&A: COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Co-Chair Talks Racial Disparities In Louisiana

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Ben Depp
/
National Geographic Society
COVID-19 test site at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans East. May 7, 2020.

African Americans in Lousiana make up more than half of the deaths so far from COVID-19, but account for only one-third of the population.

It’s a dramatic disparity that is of particular concern for Thomas LaVeist, the dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. LaVeist is also the co-chair of the governor’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, and he leads a multimedia project to dispel myths around racial disparities in health, called The Skin You’re In.

He spoke with reporter Rosemary Westwood about racial disparities and the task force’s work.

Rosemary Westwood is the public and reproductive health reporter for WWNO/WRKF. She was previously a freelance writer specializing in gender and reproductive rights, a radio producer, columnist, magazine writer and podcast host.

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