facebook linkedin twitter

Hoyer Presses States to Collect Data on Racial Disparities and COVID-19

April 10, 2020 by Dan McCue
House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Aug. 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urged the National Governors Association Friday to direct its members to collect demographic data on racial disparities and the coronavirus outbreak.

Hoyer’s request, directed to Govs. Larry Hogan, of Maryland, and Andrew Cuomo, of New York, the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the association, comes in the wake of mounting evidence that black and Latino communities in the U.S. are being particularly hard hit by the virus.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services have yet to release coronavirus data broken down by race, an analysis of state data conducted by the Associated Press found that nearly 3,300 of the nation’s 13,000 deaths thus far — about 42% — were black.

This at a time when blacks account for only about 21 percent of the total population in the areas covered by the analysis.

The AP’s analysis is one of the first attempts to examine the racial disparities of COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide.

It involved examining more than 4,450 deaths and 52,000 COVID-19 cases from across the country, relying on the handful of state and local governments that have released victims’ race.

In New York State, Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday that the state needs to do more to produce racial data after preliminary numbers showed 28% of coronavirus deaths in New York City were black and 34% were Latinos.

New York has the highest number of cases in the country and New York City alone has more cases than scores of states.

New York, however, has still not produced any racial breakdown of its cases.

James thanked Gov. Cuomo for his efforts to address the disparities, but said “we must all continue to do more.”

“Public health crises like this both reveal and exacerbate the depths of inequality in our society,” she said.

In his letter to the National Governors Association, Hoyer said if all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories collected demographic data on those who become ill or die during the viral outbreak, it will “help us better understand and address these racial disparities in the coronavirus pandemic in our country.”

Addressing the recipients personally, he added, “Both of you have been at the forefront of addressing this pandemic and setting an example of leadership in the face of this emergency. I hope you will help lead the way on tackling this facet of the pandemic as well.”

Hoyer said he and several of his congressional colleagues are already working to raise awareness of these disparities, and to find ways to spread the word in African-American and Latino communities about the dangers of COVID-19 and the importance of social and physical distancing to stop its spread. 

“Sadly, much misinformation that circulated in these communities early on in this crisis makes it even more critical that we act quickly to ensure that they have enough resources to fight back against the virus,” Hoyer said. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Civil Rights

July 29, 2021
by Kate Michael
Clyburn Predicts August Return to Vote on Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON -- Reciting Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis from memory, Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., philosophized about fair weather patriots... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Reciting Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis from memory, Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., philosophized about fair weather patriots in America today during a discussion with Axios. Claiming that some people only “love the country when everything is going well for them,” he warned, “If... Read More

State Lawmakers Work to Strip Old 'Whites Only' Covenants

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Fred Ware and his son were researching the history of the home he's owned in the... Read More

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Fred Ware and his son were researching the history of the home he's owned in the Hartford suburbs since 1950 when they discovered something far uglier than they expected.  Tucked in a list of rules on the home's original deed from the... Read More

July 28, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Keeping Big Brother in Check: Facial Recognition Technology

Biometric technology identifies you based on your biological characteristics: your fingerprint, your iris, your face.  It can even measure how... Read More

Biometric technology identifies you based on your biological characteristics: your fingerprint, your iris, your face.  It can even measure how you walk, your gait, said Steve Crown, vice president and general counsel at Microsoft, during Tuesday’s Center for Strategic & International Studies’ event on the human... Read More

July 27, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp
Facial Recognition Tech Threatens Human Rights, Needs Oversight

WASHINGTON -- A new two-part study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a D.C.-based national security think tank,... Read More

WASHINGTON -- A new two-part study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a D.C.-based national security think tank, has said that civilian and judicial oversight will be crucial to limiting the potential human rights abuses from government use of facial recognition technology. This would... Read More

July 27, 2021
by Dan McCue
Biden, Harris Celebrate Americans with Disabilities Act

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Monday and announced new guidance... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Monday and announced new guidance suggesting long-term COVID-19 could be considered a disability in some cases under federal civil rights laws.  “For our nation, the ADA is more than a law... Read More

July 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
ACLU Sues to Block Texas Abortion Ban

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday sued the state of Texas to block “radical” new abortion restrictions currently set... Read More

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday sued the state of Texas to block “radical” new abortion restrictions currently set to take effect on Sept. 1. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Texas abortion providers -- led by Whole Woman’s Health -- doctors, health... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top