The death of George Floyd highlights “the continuing use of unnecessary and excessive force by police officers and the extent of racism” in our society – but it is also connected to COVID-19, says Vivek Goel, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives, and a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
“He died because he was strangulated by a police officer,” says Goel. “But certainly the pandemic and the lockdown measures contributed to the circumstances of his death.”
In episode 20 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – discusses the social determinants of health and the impact on racialized communities of both the pandemic and the public health measures enacted to slow the spread of the virus.
COVID-19: What’s Next? is a bi-weekly podcast created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.