Social vulnerability and equity: The disproportionate impact of COVID-19

As the architect of racial disparity, racism shapes the vulnerability of communities. Socially vulnerable communities are less resilient in their ability to respond to and recover from natural and human‐made disasters compared with resourced communities. This essay argues that racism exposes practices and structures in public administration that, along with the effects of COVID‐19, have led to disproportionate infection and death rates of Black people. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index, the authors analyze the ways Black bodies occupy the most vulnerable communities, making them bear the brunt of COVID‐19’s impact. The findings suggest that existing disparities exacerbate COVID‐19 outcomes for Black people. Targeted universalism is offered as an administrative framework to meet the needs of all people impacted by COVID‐19.

As the architect of racial disparity, racism shapes the vulnerability of communities. Socially vulnerable communities are less resilient in their ability to respond to and recover from natural and human‐made disasters compared with resourced communities. This essay argues that racism exposes practices and structures in public administration that, along with the effects of COVID‐19, have led to disproportionate infection and death rates of Black people. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Social Vulnerability Index, the authors analyze the ways Black bodies occupy the most vulnerable communities, making them bear the brunt of COVID‐19's impact. The findings suggest that existing disparities exacerbate COVID‐19 outcomes for Black people. Targeted universalism is offered as an administrative framework to meet the needs of all people impacted by COVID‐19.

File Type: 13264
Categories: Equity, Race, Social Vulnerability