An Unequal Burden: Addressing Racial Health Disparities in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Event Date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 12:00pm

Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, will hold a video briefing with doctors and public health experts to examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on existing racial health disparities and the unequal burden of this public health crisis on communities of color. 

This comes as Americans across the nation continue to protest the racial and institutional inequities of this nation, including health disparities. People of color, including African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, are contracting and dying from the coronavirus at disproportionate rates

At a Select Subcommittee briefing last week, mayors from across the country highlighted racial disparities in their cities during the coronavirus outbreak.  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Georgia, said that “more than 80% of those hospitalized by COVID-19 in Georgia were African American” and noted that the “COVID-19 pandemic has underscored racial, health and economic inequities that deserve an urgent and larger national conversation.” 

In April, Congress passed a law requiring the Trump Administration to provide demographic information on the “rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as a result of COVID-19.”   In response, the Administration produced a brief report that lacked detailed data.  Reporting indicates that race and ethnicity data is missing or unspecified for 48% of coronavirus cases and 9% of deaths.   In addition, CDC’s racial data on hospitalizations includes data only from hospitals representing 10% of the country’s population. 

CDC has acknowledged the need to “[p]rioritize resources for clinics, private practices, and other organizations that serve minority populations.”  Many have raised concerns that the federal government needs to do more to ensure communities of color receive adequate public health funding and resources.



Select Subcommittee Member Briefing on “An Unequal Burden:  Addressing Racial Health Disparities in the Coronavirus Pandemic”


12:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 4, 2020



Dr. Uché Blackstock, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Advancing Health Equity

Dr. Eva Galvez, MD
Family Physician, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center

Fawn Sharp
President, National Congress of American Indians

Dr. Leana Wen, MD MSc
Visiting Professor, George Washington University Milken School of Public Health

Avik S. A. Roy
President, The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity


Chairman Clyburn's Opening Statement [PDF]

Briefing Recap [Press Release]

Dr. Uché Blackstock, MD's Written Statement [PDF]

Dr. Eva Galvez, MD's Written Statement  [PDF[

Fawn Sharp's Written Statement [PDF]

Dr. Leana Wen, MD MSc's Written Statement  [PDF]

Avik S. A. Roy's Written Statement [PDF]

116th Congress