HealthDay News — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to take steps to improve how it collects COVID-19 data for blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, the Associated Press reports.
The effect of the virus on these groups is worse not because of some biological reason, but rather because of social conditions that make exposure more likely and more severe.
“To just name racial and ethnic groups without contextualizing what contributes to the risk has the potential to be stigmatizing and victimizing,” Leandris Liburd, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief health equity officer for the coronavirus response at the CDC, told the AP.
According to the CDC, American Indians and Native Alaskans are hospitalized five times more than whites, and blacks and Hispanics are hospitalized more than four times more than whites. Blacks make up 25 percent of COVID-19 deaths and Hispanics 24 percent, while whites make up 35 percent. On Friday, the CDC issued a racial equity strategy that will account for how COVID-19 affects minorities and improve testing, contact tracing, isolating, and treating minorities, the AP reports.