Ocasio-Cortez calls for extending census period

Ocasio-Cortez calls for extending census period
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEngel says he refuses to seek NYT endorsement over Cotton op-ed The Hill's Campaign Report: Republicans go on the hunt for new convention site Trump calls New York Times 'fake newspaper' after headline change MORE (D-N.Y.) called Thursday for the government to extend the 2020 Census counting period amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ocasio-Cortez, a staunch progressive, warned that issues with the census related to the coronavirus could lead to skewed results that influence where federal resources are allocated. The New York lawmaker cited statistics showing that in-person reporting for the census is down, a factor aggravated by COVID-19.

“The U.S. Census Bureau has suspended all fieldwork until April 15, and likely will have to suspend further. Self-reporting is currently down across the country compared to 2010,” she wrote for the liberal think tank Data For Progress. “Congress should strongly consider delaying the Census as much as the law allows, in order to ensure we have a comprehensive survey of the national population.”

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The census bureau announced in March it is delaying the deadline for counting from the end of July to mid-August, though Ocasio-Cortez said the change was not enough.

Data For Progress released figures showing 78 percent of voters support extending the census deadline, including large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez wrote that the need for a proper count is even higher in 2020 than in the past after the coronavirus laid bare inequalities that would not be rectified by a flawed census.

“My district, which is overwhelmingly working-class and one of the most diverse in the country, is also one of the districts hardest hit by the virus,” she wrote.

“This crisis has only underscored the need for an accurate count - so that resources can be appropriately and quickly distributed in an emergency. However, as things currently stand, those districts hit the hardest by COVID-19, those districts which already suffer greatest from structural racism and inequity, stand to be the most undercounted,” she added.