Coronavirus in America: Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley call for racial data in COVID-19 testing
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.