“As we see desperate death rates from COVID-19 in Black communities, collecting complete and accurate nationwide demographic information is becoming a life or death issue. Analyzing the distribution of relief resources will help us flatten the curve as a country, until we do so, no community in our country will be safe from this illness,” said Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change, the largest online racial justice organization in the country.
A legacy of racism and implicit bias in our healthcare system has put Black people at greater risk of advanced disease progression. This increased risk factor is compounded by a host of other structural disadvantages that make social distancing and other recommended practices significantly more difficult for Black Americans. These include disparities in rates of unemployment and underemployment, incarceration, and access to safe housing and healthcare resources.
In addition the immediate call-to-action to quell the rapid spread of COVID-19 in marginalized communities, Native Son, Human Rights Campaign and Color of Change specifically call for following:
● Consistent and readily accessible publication of anonymized COVID-related racial and demographic data including testing rates, test results, hospitalizations, treatment, and mortality in compliance with existing health care privacy laws.
● Development of a comprehensive, standardized data collection and publication protocol across all actors in the virus response including local and state public health departments and private companies providing testing and laboratory services.
● Required comprehensive data collection and reporting for all health care system recipients of federal COVID relief funding across an expanded set of demographics including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and engagement with the criminal legal system among others.
● Strong collaboration between the federal government and private testing and laboratory companies to ensure the collection and reporting of comprehensive demographic data in compliance with existing health care privacy laws.
● The devastating effects of this virus on Black communities in the United States demands a transformational effort by our leaders to rebuild a truly equitable and resilient healthcare system — a system that is not only prepared to handle the consequences of a new and unknown pathogen, but one also equipped to deal with the crippling effects of racism that have placed the Black community squarely in the crosshairs of this current crisis.
HRC recently published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Read the full brief here and find specific information on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community here.
For more information on #WEDEMAND visit:
@nativesonnow|| @HRC || @colorofchange
READ MORE ON THE PETITION HERE
Feature Photo by JD Mason