House Hearing on COVID-19 Impact on Minority Communities

May 28, 2020

Yesterday, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a virtual hearing focusing on the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on communities of color.

During the hearing, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) said, “COVID is not the cause of the disparities we are seeing in the crisis, rather, existing inequities, the systemic biases in our society, created the circumstances that enabled the virus to rapidly spread in minority communities and resulted in a greater likelihood of negative outcomes when people in these communities do get sick.”

In a statement submitted for the record, the American Hospital Association shared information on hospitals' and health systems' work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recommendations for additional federal initiatives to address disparities related to COVID-19.

Witnesses at the hearing were: Thomas Dean Sequist, M.D., chief patient experience and equity officer at Mass General Brigham and professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School; James Hildreth, M.D., president and CEO of Meharry Medical College; Ibram Kendi, from the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University; Raynald Samoa, M.D., of City of Hope in Los Angeles; Alicia Fernandez, M.D., from the University of California San Francisco; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum.