New York: South Asians for Biden May 2 partnered with the Biden for President campaign to host a virtual panel discussion featuring Indian American Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, Dr. Krishnan Narasimhan, associate professor at Howard University College of Medicine; and Dr. Simranjit Bedi of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the South Asian community. SAB national chair Neha Dewan moderated the panel, which also included three medical students: Shruti Gupta, Nicky Joseph, and Shivam Shah (SAB Regional Rep, Ohio).
Nearly 100 participants tuned in to hear the panel address a number of topics and questions related to the pandemic, said a press release. The panel noted the critical work performed by Indian Americans and other South Asians across the nation on the frontlines of this public health crisis, including by serving as essential workers in the fields of medicine, small business, and transportation.
The physicians noted that the South Asian community could be higher at risk for COVID-19 due to its genetic predisposition to conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. The panelists shared that a key factor to reduce disparate health outcomes is the need to expand access to primary care. Undocumented South Asians have lost jobs as a result of this pandemic, resulting in decreased access to medical care, noted the release.
The panel also addressed myths about treating and preventing COVID-19 that are swirling within the community. Narasimhan clarified that eating certain foods such as peppers, onions, garlic, or ginger will not increase immunity against COVID-19. Other harmful information in the public sphere includes the wildly dangerous idea that ingestion of cleaning products may mitigate the disease.
To alleviate the health crisis, the panel pressed for the need for a coordinated federal response to guide state and local government in reopening efforts. The panelists unanimously agreed that former Vice President Joe Biden’s prior experience with pandemic response and his ability and willingness to heed the experts on public health and follow science demonstrates that he is clearly the best choice to lead our country out of this crisis.
The panel concluded by highlighting the contributions of various South Asian organizations that are helping address the fallout from this pandemic.