NationalStacy M. Brown

Dems on Capitol Hill Push for Ethnic, Racial Data on Coronavirus

As the death toll from the novel coronavirus mounts, it’s clear that African Americans are dying at alarmingly higher rates than anyone else.

Data related to ethnicity has remained elusive, but a group of U.S. senators led by Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California has introduced the Equitable Data Collection Disclosure on COVID-19 Act.

The senators said they want transparency.

The bill is identical to what was introduced in the U.S. House and co-sponsored by a group of 80 members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Karen Bass of California and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

“The coronavirus crisis is further exposing the disparity in basic human rights faced by black and brown communities across the country,” Brown said in a news release. “We are not doing enough to protect everyone in our country from this crisis, and without comprehensive data on who is affected, and why, we will not be able to beat this virus.”

The senators cited data from a recent Columbus Dispatch report that revealed that 20 percent of the 5,512 confirmed cases in Ohio were Black patients, despite African Americans making up only 12 percent of Ohio’s population.

The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect and report racial and other demographic data on COVID-19 testing, treatment, and fatality rates, and provide a summary of the final statistics and a report to Congress within 60 days after the end of the public health emergency.

It would require HHS to use all available surveillance systems to post daily updates on the CDC website showing data on testing, treatment, and fatalities, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, sex, age, socioeconomic status, disability status, county, and other demographic information.

The legislation comes as reports across the United States point to stark racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and fatalities. In Michigan, Black residents account for 33 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 40 percent of fatalities, despite making up only 14 percent of the state’s population.

In Louisiana, 70 percent of those who have died from COVID-19 so far are Black, compared with 32 percent of the state’s population.

Initial data from Boston shows that among people whose race was reported, more than 40 percent of people infected were Black, compared with only 25 percent of the population. Recently, Chelsea, Mass., a predominately Latino community, was cited as a hot spot in the COVID-19 outbreak, with initial reporting confirming 400 new cases, according to a news release from the senators.

Specifically, the Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act would require the reporting of the following data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, sex, age, socioeconomic status, disability status, county, and other demographic information:

• Data related to COVID-19 testing, including the number of individuals tested and the number of tests that were positive.
• Data related to treatment for COVID-19, including hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions and duration.
• Data related to COVID-19 outcomes, including fatalities.

The bill would also authorize $50 million in funding for the CDC, state public health agencies, the Indian Health Service, and other agencies to improve their data collection infrastructure and create an inter-agency commission to make recommendations on improving data collection and transparency and equitably responding to this crisis.

Earlier this month, Brown co-signed a letter to the administration regarding COVID-19-related disparities.

The letter highlights racial disparities in infection and mortality rate and urges the administration to work with states to provide disaggregated racial data to the CDC in their COVID-19 case reporting.

“The letter also requests an update on the administration’s outreach efforts to minority communities, as well as non-English-speaking communities,” Brown said. “Lastly the letter encourages the administration to ensure diverse participation in any COVID-19 vaccine or drug trials.”

Tags
Show More

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker