Skip to Content

Press Releases

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

Washington, May 21, 2020
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.”

“We know how to solve this. We must target resources to communities and populations that have been neglected for far too long - not just for the course of this pandemic but for the long term. That means incentivizing medical professionals to practice in these communities, targeting public health education and addressing contributing disparities in health care, housing and food security. Inaction will lead to more tragedy and families torn apart.”    

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.

###

 

Communities of color are confronting tragic losses from coronavirus & daily injustices at work, in school or by the… https://t.co/W9LZ9oGqka Read More

President Trump has debased and tarnished the office of the presidency many times over his term. His actions inflam… https://t.co/Wsp4BS2tV1 Read More

For 30-years I served this country in uniform. I always knew what we were fighting for When Trump invokes racist r… https://t.co/p6UXNQndy1 Read More

Joining @chucktodd on @MTPDaily in a few minutes to discuss racial disparities in the #COVID19 pandemic and the hor… https://t.co/XXT8MDzFy5 Read More

Back to top