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. 

Civil Rights

Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
September 17, 2020
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - The House passed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA), legislation on Wednesday that will restore students’ and parents’ right to hold schools accountable for racial discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EIEA was brought to the House... Read More

Congressional Resolution Supporting Asians Seeks to Protect Against COVID-19 Hate Crimes
Congressional Resolution Supporting Asians Seeks to Protect Against COVID-19 Hate Crimes
September 14, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional resolution that started Monday as a condemnation of hate crimes against Asians quickly turned into a dispute over who should be blamed for the devastation caused by coronavirus. Democrats blamed President Donald Trump for mishandling the U.S. response to the pandemic that... Read More

Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
Supreme Court
Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
September 14, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Mayors and a coalition of leaders from smaller municipalities are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold protections against discrimination in the delivery of government services. The court is currently scheduled to hear the case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia... Read More

Black Mechanics Sue Mitsubishi Electric for Harassment, Discrimination in Workplace
Black Mechanics Sue Mitsubishi Electric for Harassment, Discrimination in Workplace
September 11, 2020
by Reece Nations

OAKLAND, Calif.– Four plaintiffs in a recently-filed California lawsuit allege they endured verbal harassment and discrimination by their supervisors at Mitsubishi Electric U.S., Inc. LeiRoi Bowie, Gabriel Ross, Lavell Roberson and Craig Martin, all plaintiffs in the suit, were consistently forced to do menial labor and... Read More

Battle Being Waged Over Free Speech
U.S. Constitution
Battle Being Waged Over Free Speech
September 8, 2020
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — According to the American Conservation Society, conservatives are using the First Amendment to challenge progressive legislation. They assert that the Free Speech Clause is being used by corporate and right-wing interests to undermine progressive efforts in areas such as campaign finance reform, reproductive rights,... Read More

Marijuana, Discrimination Bills on House’s September Agenda
Marijuana, Discrimination Bills on House’s September Agenda

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer laid out the chamber’s agenda for September, including marijuana legislation and anti-discrimination bills, but in a letter to colleagues Monday he acknowledged that there is no appropriations deal in sight as the end of the fiscal year approaches.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top