South Asian, Chinese New Yorkers among the hardest hit by Covid, study shows

By Vignesh Ramachandran | The research shows the importance of disaggregating data for Asian American patients — and the need to do more, advocates say.

“Disaggregated data is absolutely critical,” said Juliet Choi, CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a health advocacy organization. “For the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander community, we represent over 50 different countries and we speak more than 100 different languages. So to really understand both the wellness — or the lack of wellness — experienced by our communities, we need that disaggregated data.”

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 Irradiated, Cheated and Now Infected: America’s Marshall Islanders Confront a Covid-19 Disaster

By Dan Diamond | The United States used their homeland for nuclear test-bombing, then denied them Medicaid. Now, their way of life in the U.S. heartland has left them prime prey for the pandemic.

But after two decades of fighting—and losing—the effort to restore Medicaid access, those advocates like Juliet Choi, the CEO of the Asian American & Pacific Islander Health Forum, are expressing a new emotion: cautious optimism. “2020 was a watershed moment. Given the political divide in Washington, the COFA bill in the House was a shining example of bipartisanship to do the right thing. I’m just begging for our political leaders to have the political will to allocate resources—even translated materials—as our country is bracing for the next bad wave of Covid this winter. But the fact that we have political leaders willing to advocate to restore Medicaid, that’s a really good thing.”

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 Asian Americans Are Less Likely Than Public Overall to Know Someone With COVID-19. Their Mental Health Has Suffered Just the Same

And people with family, friends or business connections overseas may also have a more nuanced view of how other countries have responded to the pandemic and how the United States has fallen short, said Juliet Choi, chief executive of the advocacy group Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

“A lot of us, our families still have close ties to countries in Asia,” Choi said, noting success in managing the virus in Taiwan and South Korea. “In those countries, the government plays such a big role. So I do think that’s influencing our psyche here in terms of COVID.”

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 Racial, ethnic minorities continue to die from covid-19 at much higher rates, Post analysis shows

Juliet Choi, chief executive of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, said many of the measures sought by minority groups to mitigate the effects of the virus on their communities are easy to implement and inexpensive, but they have been mostly ignored.
“It comes down to political will and commitment,” Choi said. “We’re not asking that decades of systemic barriers get eliminated overnight, but there are many simple things we should be doing that we are not doing.”

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 Politico Women Rule Newsletter

Juliet Choi has been named CEO of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Choi served as a senior official in the HHS civil rights office during the Obama administration.

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 Politico Pulse Newsletter

JULIET CHOI named new CEO of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Choi, who served as a senior official in the HHS civil rights office during the Obama administration, had been serving as APIAHF’s executive vice president and chief of staff. Choi takes over for Kathy Ko Chin, who’s led the organization for the past decade as it advocated to restore Medicaid for tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders, improve language access services and push for health equity.

Meanwhile, Curtis Leong will serve as APIAHF’s chief financial and administrative officer, and Gail Mukaihata Hannemann will serve as president.

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