A group of doctors in Virginia is calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to release information about whether black communities are being left behind as the shortage of coronavirus tests continues in the US.
They’re concerned that black communities and other underserved groups might be disproportionately missing out on getting tested for COVID-19, in the absence of data breaking down who’s been tested so far by race and ethnicity.
“We know in the US that there are great discrepancies in not only the diagnosis but the treatment that African Americans and other minorities are afforded. So I want to make sure that in this pandemic, that black and brown people are treated in the same way and that these tests are made available in the same pattern as for white people,” said Dr. Ebony Hilton, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the University of Virginia.
Currently, the CDC’s coronavirus information site says a total of 66,371 people across the US have been tested for the virus. The latest data on the site says there are 15,219 confirmed cases nationally. The data provided by the CDC does not include a breakdown of who’s been tested by demographics. Johns Hopkins University’s database, which pulls data from global, national, and state-level reporting, says there are more than 26,000 confirmed cases in the US, but doesn’t include statistics on testing.
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