June 4, 2020

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MD Delegation Wants More Data on COVID-19 Patients

Data Coronavirus Case

Maryland’s delegation members are asking the state to release complete COVID-19 demographic data on race and ethnicity, broken down by ZIP code, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer‘s office announced.

In an April 9 letter, the members — Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Reps. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone — emphasize that the demographic data released, showing COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on black Marylanders, only furthers the need for more granular data. Additionally, they ask Gov. Larry Hogan to ensure the data is being used to inform Maryland’s response efforts, targeting relief toward those most heavily impacted.

The members of the delegation write, “We appreciate your recent announcement that Maryland will begin to collect and publicly report data on race and ethnicity for individuals tested for COVID-19 and the first reports of this information today. We share your concern about the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 appears to be having on black Marylanders and believe that this initial data demonstrates a need for more granular reporting by zip code. Additionally, we urge you to report complete and comprehensive data for all patients as expeditiously as possible and ensure that this data is informing Maryland’s COVID-19 response efforts.”

The letter continues: “Based on Maryland’s initial limited data, we are seeing alarming trends with respect to race and ethnicity. For the 5,529 COVID cases that have race and ethnicity data available, 37% of patients are black and black residents comprise of 44% of COVID-related deaths, despite the fact that African Americans only make up 30% of the state’s population. We are seeing similarly concerning trends from other states and localities as well.”

Members of the delegation underscore the importance of this issue, noting, “If we are to have our best chance at combating this public health crisis, we need full visibility into how this virus is affecting our communities.”

Click here to read the letter.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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