Updated May 22, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the immense strength and courage of our physicians and the obstacles they are up against.
It has also highlighted another troubling fact: racism is a driver to the systemic inequities that are persistent and prolific in health care.
Emerging data on the racial and ethnic patterns of the pandemic released by more than half of the states this month paint an alarming picture: COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting black communities.
Additionally, even though more states are reporting race and ethnicity data, data for other minoritized groups including Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Native American communities is systematically missing or not accurately captured in these reports. Finally, the specificity of data (including race/ethnicity, age, gender) is critical to understanding not only the pandemic’s reach but also to inform the appropriate response and planning.
Demographic data of states with confirmed COVID-19 cases
The AMA and its Center for Health Equity believe the nationwide collection and release of race and ethnicity data will be a pivotal step in the war against COVID-19 for our most vulnerable communities.
To protect our minoritized and marginalized patients, the AMA worked with members of Congress to draft a bill on COVID-19 race and ethnicity data collection, which was introduced this week. This legislation will give public health experts the data needed to honestly face this pandemic—and others that follow.