My suspicion is that the authorities decided a long time ago to ixnay reporting by race during epidemics to avoid Stigmatizing the Marginalized. But now …
From the Associated Press via The Mainichi:
US Democratic lawmakers call for racial data in virus testing
March 31, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)
(AP) — Democratic lawmakers are calling out an apparent lack of racial data that they say is needed to monitor and address disparities in the national response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter sent Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, both from Massachusetts, said comprehensive demographic data on people who are tested or treated for the virus that causes COVID-19 does not exist. Over the weekend, cities with large black and nonwhite Hispanic populations emerged as new hot spots for the spread of the virus.
“Any attempt to contain COVID-19 in the United States will have to address its potential spread in low-income communities of color, first and foremost to protect the lives of people in those communities, but also to slow the spread of the virus in the country as a whole,” the lawmakers wrote to Azar.
“This lack of information will exacerbate existing health disparities and result in the loss of lives in vulnerable communities,” the letter warned.
Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois also signed the letter. It was shared exclusively with The Associated Press on Monday….
“Decades of structural racism have prevented so many Black and Brown families from accessing quality health care, affordable housing, and financial security, and the coronavirus crisis is blowing these disparities wide open,” Warren said in a statement. “We need the government to step up in a big way to ensure that communities of color have equal access to free testing and treatment. Congresswoman Pressley and I aren’t going to let up until we see solid data and real progress.” …
U.S. cities with large black and brown populations such as Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and New Orleans have emerged as hot spots of the coronavirus outbreak. New York City remained the national epicenter of the outbreak, reporting more than 36,000 confirmed cases and 790 deaths on Monday. …
In the letter, the U.S. lawmakers cited chronic health conditions and health care access disparities between white people and people of color “that experts have identified as risk factors for complications from COVID-19.” According to the CDC, black and nonwhite Hispanic adults are more likely to be obese and are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white adults are. Asthma is more prevalent among nonwhite adults and children, the lawmakers noted.
People of color and immigrants are also less likely to be insured, leaving many without access to quality health care providers, the lawmakers said.
“Furthermore, a history of discrimination and marginalization has left some people of color distrustful of the medical system, making them less likely to seek out timely care,” they wrote in the letter.
On Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that about half of the state’s deaths and total cases were in Milwaukee, a city of 600,000 residents that is more than a third black. All eight people who have died from the coronavirus in Milwaukee County were black, and seven of them lived in the city.
And in other Liz Warren news: