People walk at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Dec. 27, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States, and continues to deepen health disparities in the country, according to data of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Long-standing inequalities have increased the risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses and death for many Americans, causing disparities between racial and ethnic minority groups and non-Hispanic white people, according to the CDC.
American Indian and Alaska Native people were 3.7 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized, and 2.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 infection, according to latest data of the CDC.
Black or African American people were 2.9 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized and 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Hispanic and Latino people were 3.1 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized and 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
A study published by the CDC earlier this week shows that among people under the age of 25, COVID-19 case incidence disparities were higher among most racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly earlier in 2020.
Social determinants of health contribute to racial and ethnic minority groups being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to the CDC.
Discrimination, which includes racism and associated chronic stress, influences each of these social determinants as well, said the CDC in a report.
"We all have a role to play and must work together to ensure that people have resources to maintain and manage their physical and mental health, including easy access to information, affordable testing, vaccinations, and medical care," said the CDC.
Ensuring equitable and timely access to preventive measures, including testing, safe work and education settings, and vaccination when eligible is important to address racial and ethnic disparities, according to the CDC.