Exploring solutions to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities.


To seek recommendations on how to approach and mitigate the disproportionate adverse impacts of COVID-19 on minority communities, which may include disparate impacts to industries, services and local governments and institutions including the surrounding health care system, through enhanced federal funding and appropriate policy initiatives.

Monday, May 18, 2020 10 a.m.

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Current data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on minority communities in New York and nationally, based on rates of infection, hospitalization, and fatalities from the disease. During the initial impact of COVID-19, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that of those Americans hospitalized, when race was reported, Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos accounted for a higher percentage than Whites. Recent data shows that minority populations in New York have not fared any better; according to the Department of Health, as of April 29, 2020, fatality rates amongst Black andHispanic/Latino New Yorkers accounted for a combined total of 62% of the total fatalities in New York City, significantly higher than experienced by any other ethnic community. Outside of New York City, statistics for Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Asians are also showing greater disparities than Whites. The disproportionate impact on minority communities is likely to put additional strains on local government finances and overwhelm an already strained health care system that predominantly serves Medicaid and uninsured populations.

While New York remains a melting pot of cultures from around the world, it is important to recognize on the local level that many minority populations cluster in areas around the state; because of this local governments and institutions such as hospitals, , community based organizations, and food banks serving these communities experience a higher level of strain during a pandemic.

The purpose of this hearing is for the Committees to seek recommendations on how to approach and mitigate systematic inequalities through enhanced federal funding and appropriate policy initiatives.

Persons invited to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified of means by which to testify and/or in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes’ duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.

Attendees and participants at any legislative public hearing should be aware that these proceedings are video recorded. Their likenesses may be included in any video coverage shown on television or the internet.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees’ interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Legislature, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

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