Kenilworth-based Merck and the Merck Foundation will make an additional commitment of $10 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts to help address health disparities and inequality among patients and communities. Merck is making this new commitment in solidarity and support of #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to COVID-19. With this commitment, Merck has contributed or committed more than $30 million in support of global, national and local COVID-19 relief efforts.
In the United States, statistics show that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities and under-represented groups across the nation – with African Americans experiencing higher rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections than other groups. Globally, pre-existing inequalities within society are also differentiating the impact of the disease. Approximately 90% of hospitalized patients have one or more underlying health conditions according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for the global community. At Merck, we are working to support patients, health care professionals and communities across the world in the fight against this disease,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck. “This new commitment will help advance health equity and address social determinants of health in our most vulnerable communities and patient populations.”
To help address these health disparities, Merck aims to work with selected external partners to support U.S. and global efforts that support underserved and vulnerable communities and patients with underlying health conditions and strengthen health systems and capacity of frontline health care workers to provide care for vulnerable patients. In addition, as a leader in animal health, the company will support efforts to meet the needs of animals who may be affected.
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