In this brief, my goal is to talk about something which has animated a lot of my thinking and writing in the past decade. It is how our health is fundamentally socially patterned and reflects the world around us. This has been true for decades in this country, and one could also argue, globally, however this brief will focus on this topic at the national level. As you will see, I will talk mostly of health haves and health have nots in general, but as we progress, show how COVID-19 has made this evermore apparent.

Document Type

Policy Brief






Reports Series


The Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Health Policy honors the memory of Herbert Lourie, MD, a distinguished Syracuse neurosurgeon, professor, and community leader for nearly 30 years. Generous contributions from his family, friends and colleagues, and former patients have endowed this series. The Lecture and Policy Brief are jointly sponsored by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University and the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and is administered by the Center for Policy Research and The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.


Economics | Finance and Financial Management | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Health | Sociology | Urban Studies and Planning

Additional Information

Policy brief no. 56


Local input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


© 2020, Syracuse University. This publication may be distributed freely for educational and research uses as long as this copyright notice is attached. No commercial use of this material may be made without express written permission.



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