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April 17, 2020

Following Calls from Rep. Pressley, CDC Agrees to Begin Releasing Initial Racial & Demographic Data on COVID-19

WASHINGTON – Today, following calls from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it will begin releasing racial and ethnic data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Earlier this week, Congresswoman Pressley introduced the Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act, legislation to require the CDC and other HHS sub-agencies to collect and release racial and other demographic data on COVID-19, along with Congresswomen Robin Kelly (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Last month, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging HHS to collect and public release racial and demographic data on COVID-19 in order to identify and address racial disparities.

“The stark racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths makes clear the need for nationwide, race-specific data collection,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Today’s announcement is a huge step forward. I’m encouraged that the CDC has finally heeded our call to begin publicly releasing this data, but there is still much more to be done. It’s crucial that the CDC begins collecting and releasing demographic data on all COVID patients, so that we can fully and effectively respond to this crisis, and that we use this data to address and disrupt the inequities that created these deep disparities to begin with.”

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