Williams Urges Immediate Release of Racial Data on COVID-19
April 9, 2020
Today, state Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) urged Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and Health Director Dr. Amy Acton to release racial breakdowns of confirmed COVID- 19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths in Ohio. She also requested that the data includes information on county, zip code and census tract.
“Recent news reports have uncovered that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities of color across the nation,” said Williams in a letter to the governor. “Having this information readily available will help agencies and elected officials in conveying the severity and importance of health and safety procedures throughout all communities as well as ensuring that resources are being properly allocated to minority communities from the state and federal government.”
The Columbus Dispatch, along with other news outlets across the country, have reported that African Americans are being infected and dying at much higher rates compared to other Americans. The lack of racial and ethnic data on coronavirus from the federal and state government has raised concerns about whether minorities are receiving the same quality of health care and the same resources as other communities.
“During these uncertain times, we have a duty to ensure public trust by being able to demonstrate that everyone, regardless of race and ethnicity, will be properly tested and cared for,” said Williams. “We can accomplish this by providing statistical data that demonstrates all Ohioans are receiving equitable medical treatment. If the data shows that there is a significant disparity here in Ohio, we must quickly act to understand why and correct it.”
As a matter of urgency, Williams asked the DeWine’s administration to release this information by Monday, April 13. The senator’s letter can be read below.