The whitewashing of Arab Americans impacted by Covid-19 is a catastrophic public health issue, experts say

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The whitewashing of Arab Americans impacted by Covid-19 is a catastrophic public health issue, experts say

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This article brings up important points regarding the underrepresentation of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) people and communities in U.S. This article focuses primarily on Arab Americans, but also sheds light on the fact that there are no identifiers for Middle Eastern and North African people on the U.S. Census as their only options are to choose “white” or “other”. As a result, there is a lack of Covid-19 data specific to these communities which prevents support and information being directed to those underrepresented – and often socioeconomically underprivileged – groups. This article is important in demonstrating the vulnerability of this group. Many MENA families live in multi-generational homes, have preexisting medical conditions or risk factors which may make them more vulnerable should they contract Covid, and still some do not have access to the information and support needed to prevent Covid or to receive the proper treatment if infected. Additionally, because MENA people are not able to self-identify on the U.S. Census, the information about how these communities are being affected is not accurate. The U.S. Census isn’t the only place where these identifiers do not exist. Job, scholarship, and college applications (to name only a few) do not provide accurate identifiers for MENA individuals. I think this article is important in revealing the lack of identifiers available to MENA people and how important it is that this is changed soon.

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This item was submitted on April 3, 2022 by Jessica Parvan Pike using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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