Political Studies & COVID-19

More eyes on racial wealth gap: The Center for American Progress calls for the incoming Biden administration to create a White House Racial Equity Officeand prioritize eliminating the racial wealth gap. 

Unconscionable: The Michigan NAACP attacks a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to throw out election results from Wayne County, Michigan as an “unconscionable” effort to disenfranchise Black voters in the state.

Rural surge narrows Black-White disparity: While Black people are twice as likely as White people to die from COVID-19, the rapidly increasing cases in predominantly white rural counties are narrowing the disparity.

Disparate impact: Non-Hispanic Black people were hospitalized due to coronavirus at nearly 4 times the rate of non-Hispanic Whites between March 1 and November 7, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among children, COVID-19 cases were highest among Black and Latina/o youth, and Black and Latina/o people died from the virus at disproportionate rates over the summer. African Americans are still 37 percent more likely to die from COVID-19 than Whites, despite rapidly declining coronavirus death rates (down by more than 80 percent since spring), according to the CDC. This disparity exists even after accounting for age, gender, and mortality rates over time, and “those higher case fatality rates for diagnosed people of color are on top of the increased infection rates for those unable to isolate at home because they are essential workers.”

Vaccine hesitation: A recently released survey finds that fewer than half of Black respondents would get a coronavirus vaccine even if it were free. Only 14 percent of Black people trust it will be safe, and only 18 percent trust it will be effective.

COVID-19 changed everything, except accreditation: Leaders in higher education discussed accreditation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the wake of online instruction and other changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Black women rising: The visibility and impact of Vice President-elect Harris and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have resulted in a new focus on increasing the number of Black women in higher education leadership. Inside Higher Ed notes that across all industries, Black women hold only 4 percent of management jobs while White women hold about 32 percent of such jobs.

Digital skills lacking: Citing a significant digital skills gap among Americans, including 50 percent of Black workers who have limited or no digital skills, the National Skills Coalition is calling on the Biden administration to take steps to ensure that American workers and businesses are prepared for the digital age.