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August 17, 2021

Toward Healing and Health Equity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Populations

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 3The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Oakland, California
  • 4The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Washington, DC
  • 5The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, San Francisco, California
JAMA. 2021;326(7):599-600. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9441

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, a long-simmering US national history of prejudice against individuals of Asian descent has surfaced in a spate of xenophobic hate. A pandemic, exposing widespread health inequities that have disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minority communities, has also triggered racist rhetoric blaming COVID-19 on an often invisible, yet vital, community of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) individuals. With recognition that the terms Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander encompass a multitude of specific racial and ethnic categories and countries of descent, herein, we will refer to these communities under the collective term and abbreviation (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander [AANHPI]). Healing the hate and moving toward health equity for all requires recognizing the special challenges of this rapidly expanding population that represents the fastest-growing racial and ethnic minority group in the US. From 2000 to 2019, the AANHPI population in the US increased by 95%. Now accounting for 7% (23.2 million people) of the US population, it is projected to double by 2060.1

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