Racial Biases, Discrimination, and the Infringement of Civil Liberties in Times of Health Crisis
Chancellor's Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law, and Founding Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy
Dean and the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law
The death toll associated with the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, has now surpassed a staggering 700,000 losses in the United States. To place this suffering in context, more Americans died during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic than all the American deaths suffered during the Vietnam War; the fatalities due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; as well as the deaths resulting from H1N1, Ebola, and the Zika viruses combined. During that three-month period, COVID-19 killed more people across the United States than what Americans witnessed in the past fifty years of war and disease combined. And COVID-19 still hovers in the United States with hotspots in jails, prisons, and in meatpacking factories. As it lingers, some Americans refuse to vaccinate against the virus.