Congressman Brown: Disparities in Nursing Home Deaths Should Outrage, Requires Immediate Action
Three Weeks After Announcing Universal Testing, Many Residents Are Still Waiting to be Tested
In Maryland, 80 percent of nursing homes with high black and Latino populations have been hit by the coronavirus, double the rate for homes with predominantly white residents.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) released the following statement in response to reporting by the New York Times and Baltimore Sun on the coronavirus’ impact in nursing homes along stark racial lines:
“Beyond geography, socio-economic status and every other identifier - race has been the driving factor in this virus’ infection rate and death toll. While many have claimed this virus is the ‘great equalizer,’ the data clearly shows how this pandemic is further widening existing inequities in our society along race.”
“Black and Brown communities have long faced both explicit and implicit racial bias in our health care system from access, to diagnosis, treatment and ultimate medical outcomes. These biases are real and continue to exact a terrible toll. We also cannot overlook how inaction has left nursing homes with predominantly Black and Latino residents without adequate testing supplies or PPE - forcing staff to make due with makeshift fixes.”
“Three weeks after Governor Hogan announced universal testing in nursing homes across our state, many residents are still waiting. These populations are high risk and will require multiple rounds of testing - delays only exacerbate the challenges faced by nursing homes serving minority communities.”
In Maryland, 80 percent of nursing homes with high black and Latino populations have been hit by the coronavirus, double the rate for homes with predominantly white residents. Maryland reports 5,939 infections among residents in nursing homes and long term care facilities, and 1,131 deaths. Meanwhile, 2,519 staff at these facilities have tested positive for the virus, 12 have died. Deaths and infection rates are likely an undercount.