HRC President on the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Populations

Alphonso David, President of HRC, issued a statement on the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on marginalized populations and called on Congress to take this impact into account in future stimulus bills.

“As in all emergencies, the most vulnerable are the most at risk during the COVID-19 crisis,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Data is emerging showing Black communities are contracting and dying from the virus at particularly high rates and our own research shows the economic and health impacts this pandemic may have on LGBTQ people.

“We cannot ignore the role that bias plays in health disparities, and for that reason HRC has long called for inclusive data collection to ensure that all people are counted. Today, we call on every state to collect more data so that we can truly measure the impact on those most at risk and respond with prevention and treatment strategies that work. We call on Congress to take this impact into account in future stimulus packages so that we can urgently meet the needs of our communities.”

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. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage, and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma. Read the full brief here, and find a full list of all of HRC’s efforts and COVID-19 resources at this link.

This follows on HRC’s previously published report, “LGBTQ-Inclusive Data Collection: A Lifesaving Imperative,” revealing how the failure of state and federal officials to collect full and accurate data on sexual orientation and gender identity is causing harm to LGBTQ Americans, who remain largely invisible to the government entities entrusted with ensuring their health, safety and well-being. HRC has called on the federal government to require the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity metrics where data on sex is collected.

The federal government is failing to address or even acknowledge the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color and the LGBTQ community.

In Michigan, the Black community accounts for 35% of confirmed cases and 40% of deaths despite only representing 14% of the state population

  • Detroit Free Press: Black Americans lead in coronavirus cases, deaths in Michigan
  • Bridge Michigan: Black communities hit harder by coronavirus in Michigan, not just Detroit

The disproportionate impacts on people of color are being seen nationwide

  • ProPublica: Early Data Shows Black Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate
  • Rolling Stone: New Map Shows COVID-19 Is Hitting People of Color Hardest
  • BET: Philadelphia Sees Disproportionate Number Of Coronavirus Positives Among Black Population
  • Washington Post: The coronavirus is infecting and killing Black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

LGBTQ people are also particularly at risk of contracting and having bad outcomes

  • NY Daily News: Coronavirus crisis puts many in LGBTQ community at ‘increased risk’ according to new report
  • The Grio: LGBTQ community uniquely impacted by COVID-19, research shows
  • The Hill: How the coronavirus presents a unique threat to the LGBTQ+ community

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