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The novel COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health challenge that quickly turned into an economic recession of great proportions. This pandemic poses a trade-off between health and the economy where social distancing, quarantines, and isolation shut down demand and supply chains across the USA. This paper analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on illness and death among older adults and communities of color with low socioeconomic status in New York City. To achieve this goal, fractional logit models are used to capture changes in the novel virus’ morbidity and mortality rates at the neighborhood level. Median income, race/ethnicity, age, household crowding, and socially interactive employment explained the disproportionate exposure and fatalities across the city. We also employ a variable related to telehealth/telemedicine to sustain that technology goods along with government intervention as a provider of social goods can ameliorate existing health disparities. There is a need for evidence-based data on the economic costs and social benefits of COVID-19 relief programs.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, available at

This article is made available for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.



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