What Does It Mean To Be Made Vulnerable in the Era of COVID-19?

GMU Philosophy Professor Dr. Lisa Eckenwiler is joint author of a letter published in The Lancet on April 27th 2020 that takes up the issue of 'vulnerable populations' and questions what it means to be made vulnerable in the era of COVID-19.

The letter notes that "the category of vulnerable individuals or groups is not fixed but evolves in response to policies that might create or reinforce vulnerability". The focus should be on the ways in which vulnerability is produced and defined "within cultures, communities, and particular social groups."

Drawing on the philosophical concept of epistemic injustice, the authors argue that a pandemic can be "a call for recognition and repairing of the sociocultural, sociopolitical, and sociohistorical ruptures that generate vulnerability within specific categories of marginalised groups".