Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 8, 2020
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and 16 other Democratic members of Congress are calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to publicly report all available information about COVID-19 testing as well as the number of hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths linked to the coronavirus.
“As COVID-19 spreads into more American communities, government agencies and academic and industry researchers are working hard to understand the depth and breadth of the pandemic and its impact on the health and well-being of Americans,” the members wrote. “It is important to document if particular groups in the United States are at greater risk for the virus and why.”
The Journal Sentinel first reported last month that the majority of coronavirus cases in Milwaukee so far have involved African Americans. The city has launched a public awareness campaign, and state health workers have begun helping to trace cases here.
Milwaukee is one of the few places that is making racial and other demographic data available to the public.
African Americans appear to have worse outcomes from the coronavirus than their white counterparts — and local officials and public health experts say that is not surprising given existing racial inequalities.
Of the 56 people confirmed to have died from complications of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County as of Monday morning, at least 39 have been African American. African Americans have accounted for nearly half the more than 1,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County, while making up about 27% of the county’s population.