FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2020
Contact: Jonathan Timm, 313-618-7005, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE SENATORS ZELLNOR Y. MYRIE AND JAMAAL T. BAILEY CALL ON HEALTH OFFICIALS TO RELEASE DATA ON RACIAL DISPARITIES OF COVID-19 CRISIS
NEW YORK CITY — New York State Senators Zellnor Y. Myrie and Jamaal T. Bailey are calling on the city and state’s top health officials to share data detailing the racial disparities of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a joint letter sent today to commissioners Howard Zucker of the New York State Department of Health and Oxiris Barbot of the NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, the Brooklyn and Bronx Senators write that while the COVID-19 is causing disproportionate harm in communities of color around the country, New York isn’t keeping track.
“Neither the NYC DOHMH nor the State’s Department of Health are breaking down data concerning tests, confirmed cases, hospitalizations, or deaths by any demographics other than age range and sex,” the Senators write. “This is disconcerting. We need COVID-19 data broken down by race/ethnicity and we need it urgently.”
“The novel coronavirus has been called a ‘great equalizer,’” the Senators continue. “While it is true that anyone can contract the virus and this crisis reaches all of us in some way, it is absolutely not true that the harm it causes is distributed equally. On the contrary, it is clear that COVID-19 is hurting most the ones with the least.”
Racial disparities of the crisis have been found in Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, and across the country. A recent analysis by ANHD, using a combination of data from the NYC DOHMH census data, found that “high rates of positive COVID-19 cases are concentrated in neighborhoods where many of New York’s frontline service workers reside.”
Communities of color are at higher risk of the harms of COVID-19 due to higher rates of working in the service sector, taking public transit, renting, and experiencing co-morbidities that make them more vulnerable to the virus.
Please direct inquiries to Senator Myrie’s Director of Policy and Communications, Jonathan Timm, at (313) 618-7005; email@example.com