The progressive movement is so hyper-focused on framing every crisis with a Green New Deal lens that they are ignoring genuine medical concerns that people of color should be paying attention to during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Poverty and pollution are not the only reasons why the SARS-CoV-2 virus is having such a devastating impact on our black and brown communities. The Coronavirus is, indeed, discriminating against people who carry the sickle cell trait (SCT).
The Sickle Cell Disease Association sent out a provider alert on April 10th with recommended precautions and treatment protocols for SCD patients who test positive for COVID-19. Download: SCDAA Advisory
People with ancestry from Africa, Asia, India, Indigenous America, Latin America, Mediterranean, and Middle East regions are all potential carriers of sickle cell trait. Source: Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
“Under most circumstances, people with SCT do not develop sickle cell anemia, have enough normal hemoglobin to prevent the cells from becoming sickle-shaped. Without the sickling, red blood cells behave as they should, transporting oxygen-rich blood to the tissues and organs in the body.” Source: Healthline.
The sickling of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in SCT carriers only happens in unusual circumstances. Source: National Institute of Health.
Unusual circumstances that can trigger RBC sickling include extreme conditions such as high altitude, severe dehydration, or very high intensity physical activity. Source: American Society of Hematology.
SCT athletes are at high risk to RBC sickling due the added strain on their bodies. Source: NCAA Sport Science Institute.
The rapid decrease of oxygenated hemoglobin at high altitudes can be especially devastating to SCT carriers. Source: National Institute of Health.
COVID-19 patients are experiencing decreases in 02 saturation similar to that of patients suffering from high altitude sickness. Source: WebMD.
Hematologists are warning that more sickle cell related research needs to be done in the battle against the Coronavirus, widespread treatment protocols need to be established for COVID-19 positive SCD patients, and we to need ramp up blood drives. Source: Boston Medical Center.