CHRT Health Policy Fellow Denise Anthony talks to WEMU about immunity certification, unintended consequences

April 24, 2020 | In The Media, WEMU

Photo of a lady wearing a maskWEMU’s Lisa Barry explores the idea of an immunity certification system that could exempt those who have COVID-19 antibodies from some social distancing restrictions and allow them to go back to work. Dr. Denise Anthony, CHRT Health Policy Fellow and Professor of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health, joins Barry, cautioning that in the U.S., “There is not yet a certified test…It is in the development and research phase.”

The interview explores the potential use of technology to track people with a COVID-19 diagnosis and how testing data could be misused to discriminate against those who test negative for the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony points out that “It’s possible that people if they are found to not have the antibodies, could end up suffering from a surprising form of reverse discrimination…They might try to seek out exposure…or face restriction on their movement, employment, or other access to resources.”

In the interview, Dr. Anthony also points out that socioeconomic factors play a role in the transmission effects and deaths related to COVID-19. She articulates the critical policy safeguards that will be necessary to prevent discrimination and inequitable community impacts as immunity testing moves forward.