The Coronavirus has spread all throughout the 50 states and as the days go by the data regarding how many people have tested positive continues to rise. A group of doctors in Virgina is calling more a more in depth report on how the virus is affecting black communities across the country. Buzzfeed reports that the doctors are calling for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to release information on whether black people have access to the Coronavirus tests as they become more unavailable.
Dr. Ebony Hilton, an associate professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Virginia, said that she wants to ensure that black people and underserved communities have equal access to Coronavirus testing and care.
“We know in the US that there are great discrepancies in not only the diagnosis but the treatment that African Americans and other minorities are afforded,” she said. “So I want to make sure that in this pandemic, that black and brown people are treated in the same way and that these tests are made available in the same pattern as for white people.”
Another doctor who is requesting more data, Dr. Cameron Webb, added that the government isn’t that trustworthy when it comes to making sure black communities get quality care.
“I don’t want to speak about black Americans as if we’re all the same, but there’s a lot of reasons not to trust the government to be fair in circumstances like these,” Webb said. “Yes, that’s a huge question, who has access to those tests … If you’re not an NBA player, it might be a little harder for black people to get access to those tests.”
Since there are disparities regarding access to health care, poverty, healty food and more in black communities, they are more vulnerable during this pandemic. Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb says having the information about whether the tests are available in black communities or not can help them address the disparity.
“But in the US, that would be useful information to have in the future because we already know that this virus affects disproportionately people who have co-morbidities and African Americans are disproportionately affected by almost every cardiovascular disease that we have here in the United States.”
Results from the Coronavirus test takes about five days. Since someone with the virus can be asymptomatic, having access to testing is critical.