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Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday joined in the calls to release the racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases and deaths.

The presidential candidate requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release racial and income data so resources can be sent to “where help is needed first and fastest,” he said in a Medium post.

“This virus can hit anyone, anywhere — regardless of race, economic status, or access to power — but it doesn’t impact every community equally. It hits hardest those who are most vulnerable and who have the fewest resources,” he said. 

“The challenge for us as leaders is ensuring support gets to those who need it immediately, and doing the necessary work to rip out the structural racism that creates these inequalities wherever we find it,” he continued. 

Biden called it “unconscionable” that black, Latino and Native American populations are appearing to report disproportionately high coronavirus cases and deaths. He said these populations are less likely to have health insurance, health care or jobs where they can stay at home and more likely to have underlying conditions.

“Meaning they’re more likely to have to choose between their health and a paycheck,” he said.

“This pandemic has shown us the importance of leading with science and following the data — but we can’t follow the data if we don’t have it,” he added. 

The former vice president joins Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and others who have called on the CDC to publish the racial breakdown of coronavirus data.

Some state and local entities are publishing racial breakdowns of coronavirus data, including Louisiana, which showed black people make up 70 percent of the deaths in the state, even though they represent 32 percent of the population.

Tags 2020 Democratic primary 2020 election Coronavirus coronavirus deaths Cory Booker COVID-19 Elizabeth Warren Income Joe Biden Race
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