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Omicron ‘blame’ shows persistence of racism in healthcare

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Joia Adele Crear-Perry, MD, Founder and Chair of the National Birth Equity Collaborative testifies at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hybrid hearing titled “Birthing While Black: Examining America’s Black Maternal Health Crisis” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, United States, May 6, 2021. REUTERS / Leah Millis / File Photo

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December 1 (Reuters) – The persistence of racism is once again evident with the “blame and shame” of African nations for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, health advocate Dr Joia Crear-Perry said on Wednesday.

Speaking on a Reuters Next panel on racial disparities in black maternal health care, Crear-Perry said the medical profession in the United States must stop using racist tropes and start telling the truth.

“Even if you look at the final blame and shame that occurs around the latest Omicron variant, you see the same story, the same racist trope of blaming certain places, assuming white nations and majority white nations go have to be protected from places that are not, ”she said.

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“It’s the same legacy and the same story manifested in health and the same legacy and the same story that we have to have to tell the truth so that we can stop this behavior of blaming and shaming and harming people. people.”

More than 50 countries have reportedly put travel measures in place to guard against Omicron, many of them banning travelers from southern African countries.

In guidelines released this week as reports on the spread of the Omicron variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) said: “General travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they weigh heavily on international travel. heavy burden on life and livelihood. “

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Reporting by Donna Bryson in Denver Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.