Stephen Bezruchka, faculty in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses his latest book, Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19's Health Lessons for the World (2022, Routledge), analysing some of the socio-medical terrain as to why the United States does so poorly in health measures. Discussing how the United States has by far the highest levels of inequality among wealthy countries, Bezruchka details how living in a society with entrenched hierarchies increases the negative effects of illnesses for everyone. Bezruchka covers how a fair system of taxation, maternal leave, support for child well-being, universal access to healthcare, are just some of the remedies that can reverse the downward trend in the health of the American population. Tracing his experiences in the field outside of western medicine, Bezruka frames how social issues like stress have worsened public health whereby social issues rarely figure into understanding public health. Observing how during the COVID-19 pandemic western societies leaned towards individualistic rather than collective solutions to the public health crisis, Bezruka notes that the United States has worse health outcomes than some 50 other nations despite spending almost half of the world's healthcare bill.
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