Dismantling structural racism as a root cause of racial disparities in COVID-19 and transplantation

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As the United States faces unparalleled challenges due to COVID-19, racial disparities in health and healthcare have once again taken center stage. If effective interventions to address racial disparities in transplantation, including those magnified by COVID-19, are to be designed and implemented at the national level, it is first critical to understand the complex mechanisms by which structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized racism influence the presence of racial disparities in healthcare and transplantation. Specifically, we must deeply re-evaluate how scientists and clinicians think about race in the transplant context, and we must actively shift our efforts from merely observing disparities to acknowledging and acting on racism as a root cause underlying the vast majority of these disparities. We must do better to ensure equitable access and outcomes for all transplant patients, including within the current COVID-19 pandemic. We respectfully offer this viewpoint as a call to action to every reader to join us in working together to help dismantle racist influences and advance transplant equity.

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