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中新网评:漠视贫穷新冠患者,美国“民主堡垒”保了谁?

中新网评:漠视贫穷新冠患者,美国“民主堡垒”保了谁?

2022年04月09日 10:24 来源:中国新闻网参与互动参与互动

  中新网北京4月9日电(蒋鲤)美国穷人权益组织日前与联合国经济学家共同编写了一份《穷人新冠疫情报告》,揭露了疫情对美国低收入社区的破坏性影响,美国贫困县的疫情总体死亡率几乎是富裕县的两倍。正如该报告所称,虽然新冠病毒没有区分贫富,但美国政府和社会却刻意做到了。

  该报告对美国3000多个县的新冠疫情数据进行了分析。在死亡率最高的前 300 个县中,平均有 45% 的人口生活在贫困线以下。而在最近的一波疫情期间,死亡率差异几乎达到了3倍。报告认为,贫困县人口缺乏医疗保险与此关系密切。

  这些冰冷的数字背后,是美国政府对穷人的漠视。美国哥伦比亚大学经济学教授、联合国可持续发展解决方案网络主任杰弗里•萨克斯表示,调查结果说明,新冠肺炎大流行不仅是一场全国性的悲剧,也是社会正义的失败。

  美国一直自诩为“西方民主的堡垒”,但却没能建立起一个有效的堡垒来保护自己的民众。面对高昂的医疗成本,富裕阶层自然能采取更好的防护措施尽量避免感染,即使感染也能优先得到救治。但对低收入群体来说,因无法支付昂贵的药费得不到及时治疗,只能任由病毒吞噬。

  和低收入群体面临同样困境的还有美国的非洲裔、印第安原住民等少数族群。《社会科学与医学》杂志近日公布的一项研究结果称,当美国白人通过媒体获悉美国黑人的死亡率高于他们的人口群体时,他们对病毒的恐惧就会消退。

  这种赤裸裸的种族歧视竟然堂而皇之地存在于标榜“人权”和“民主”的美国社会,这令人震惊和不解。尽管“反种族歧视”口号在美国喊得响亮,但事实却是,系统性种族歧视仍顽固地存在于美国社会。

  而新冠疫情之下,美国印第安人和阿拉斯加原住民的状况同样不容乐观。他们的住院死亡率是白人的2到3倍,他们缺乏自来水、健康食品和基本公用设施,相关医疗机构资金严重不足。

  这些长期被边缘化、被歧视的群体面对着来自美国政府和社会的不公,降低了他们在这场疫情中获得救治的能力。他们身为美国人,却无法享受和富人与白人同等的医疗待遇,这是不道德的。

  新冠病毒不会区分肤色、贫富和种族,但美国政府却给美国民众贴上不同的标签来区别对待。不能一视同仁地保护每个公民的安全,还自称抗疫“世界第一”,这样的美国,不惭愧吗?

Dilemma of the poor and minorities contradicts U.S. claim of anti-Covid success

By John Lee

(ECNS) – A Poor People’s Pandemic Report jointly produced by the Poor People’s Campaign and economists at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network has revealed the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and low-income communities across the U.S.

The report said that death rates in poor counties in the U.S. were almost double the death rates in rich counties. It pointed out that while the virus did not discriminate between rich and poor, the U.S. society and government did.

After analyzing over 3,000 counties of COVID-19 data, it found that within the top 300 counties with the highest death rates, 45 percent of the population on average lives below the poverty line. And the latest Omicron variant has caused a death rate nearly three times higher in counties with lower median incomes. Lack of access to health insurance by people in poor counties is believed to be a highly relevant factor.

Behind the data lies the fact that the U.S. neglects the poor. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor as well as the president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said the findings underline how the pandemic was not just a national tragedy but also a failure of social justice.

The U.S. has been bragging that it is the “Bastion of Western Democracy." However, it failed to build an effective barrier to protect all of its people. The rich are capable of paying for expensive medical costs and receiving treatment in a timely manner even after they are infected with the pandemic, but the poor cannot.

Like low-income people in the U.S., ethnic minorities including Native Americans and African Americans, are in the same dilemma. A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that when white Americans were informed through the media that black Americans were dying at higher rates than their demographic group was, their fear of the virus receded.

It is shocking and confusing that such obvious racial discrimination exists in a country which advertises “human rights” and “democracy.” The slogan of “Anti-discrimination” has never rooted out the systemic racial discrimination in the society.

The situation of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives is not optimistic either. The risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 is roughly three times higher among American Indian and Alaska Native people compared with whites, while the risk of death is approximately double. They are lacking access to running water, healthy food and basic public utilities and suffer from “systemic underfunding” for medical services.

They are persistently marginalized, discriminated and unequally treated by the U.S. government and society, which has restricted their ability to get treatment. As Americans, they are separated from the rich and whites to get equal medical treatment.

Novel coronavirus has never labeled people by skin color, wealth or race, but the U.S. does. It even claimed itself “No. 1” in the pandemic fight although it has clearly failed to protect all of its people equally.

【编辑:张乃月】
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