Grassroots Action Center

The CDC Must Release COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Based on Race
Action Alert
One of the most tragic components of the COVID-19 pandemic is that populations already suffering disproportionately from poverty, incarceration and health disparities are also the same ones hit the hardest by the virus. Many cities have reported that Black and brown communities are among the most impacted by this pandemic with higher rates of infection and deaths than other racial demographics. Yet, little attention has been paid to this news.
Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, and New York have reported that a disproportionate number of Black Americans have been infected and have died. Chicago and Louisiana reported that between 60 to 70 percent of those who have died are Black Americans. According to the Chicago Department of Health, 52 percent of the 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases are Black Americans, and about 68 percent of the 118 deaths have been Black Americans, despite Black Americans making up just 30 percent of the city’s population. Similar trends have been observed in Milwaukee, where 50 percent of confirmed cases are Black Americans and at least 81 percent of the mortalities have been Black Americans, despite the city being only 27 percent Black. Latino communities are also more vulnerable to this virus due to high rates of chronic health conditions and less access to health insurance.
These startling statistics shed light on an issue of systemic racism. We must address that issue but cannot do so without more information. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), Office of Public Witness is calling upon the CDC to release the racial statistics of those infected and the mortality rates for the country. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies issued the same call in a Washington Post op-ed. In order to reduce the spread of this virus, we must have detailed knowledge of the breakdown of those with high rates of infection. The CDC must release a complete compilation based on race, income, and location.
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