By Vanessa Grubbs, California Health Care Foundation, August 4, 2020
It was the Black woman’s third trip to the emergency department because she was feeling short of breath. She was starting to panic. She knew the COVID-19 death toll was climbing and that it was far worse for Black people than white people, and yet the doctors told her to go home again. But this time she pleaded, “If you all don’t admit me to the hospital, I’m going to die. I can’t breathe.”
This is the story told by Sheila Young, MD, physician scientist and director of the free COVID-19 testing site on the campus of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) in South Los Angeles, during an online community forum on the effects of COVID-19 on underresourced communities.
“‘I can’t breathe.’ This is a sentiment we’ve heard before,” Young said.