Contrary to initial claims by politicians and the media that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was a “great equalizer,” data overwhelmingly shows that the virus is amplifying existing inequalities and harming poor and marginalized communities most. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are suffering hospitalization rates up to 5.3 times higher and death rates up to 2.1 times higher than other Americans.
The fossil fuel industry receives billions of dollars in indirect and direct public subsidies every year. For decades, Wall Street has been financing and profiting off the industry and has played a key role in sustaining the industry through its investments. This report finds the fossil fuel industry not only has been a primary driver of climate change but also has harmed the health of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities for decades and has made these populations highly vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19.