NYS Legislature To Hold Hearing On The Disproportionate Impact Of COVID-19 On Minority Communities

May 15, 2020

Elected officials Senate Cities Committee uptown Chair Robert Jackson, Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera, Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos, Local Government Committee Chair James Gaughran, Women’s Issues Committee Chair Julia Salazar, Assembly Cities Committee Chair Edward Braunstein, Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, Labor Committee Chair Marcos Crespo, Local Governments Committee Chair Fred Thiele, Jr., Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Chair Tremaine Wright, Task Force on Asian Pacific Americans Chair Ron Kim, Task Force on Puerto Rican/Hispanic Americans Chair Maritza Davila and Task Force on Women’s Issues Chair Aravella Simotas will take testimony to seek recommendations on how to approach and mitigate the disproportionate adverse impacts of COVID-19 on minority communities through federal funding and policy initiatives.

These adverse impacts can be seen in industries, services, and local governments and institutions including surrounding health care systems. In the interest of public health and safety, the hearings will be conducted virtually using web-based video conferencing.

Current data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on minority communities in New York and nationally. During the initial impact of COVID-19, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that of the Americans hospitalized, Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos accounted for a higher percentage than Whites.

According to recent data from the Department of Health, as of April 29, 2020, fatality rates amongst Black and Hispanic/Latino New Yorkers accounted for a combined total of 62% of the total fatalities in New York City, significantly higher than experienced by any other ethnic community.

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The disproportionate impact on minority communities puts additional pressure on community-based organizations, food banks and local government finances and overwhelms an already strained health care system that predominantly serves Medicaid and uninsured populations.

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