COVID-19, the pandemic of highly contagious respiratory disease, presents a global public health emergency. Racial and ethnic minority groups in the USA are more likely to contract, be hospitalized with, and die from COVID-19 versus whites, highlighting glaring health disparities. Injustices such as the persistent issue of police brutality against Blacks in the USA, along with the racial disparities and inequities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, have brought renewed global focus to issues of social justice in the USA. Moreover, there is a need to examine how environmental racism intensifies the COVID-19 pandemic and illuminates racial inequities in exposure to environmental pollutants. This article describes environmental racism and its impact on people of color in the USA, critically examines how this practice elevates disease risk among racial and ethnic minorities already susceptible to COVID-19, and proposes recommendations to tackle this pervasive issue.
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