Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday said that there should be a national focus to collect data on coronavirus deaths in communities of color.
“We need that information so we can further study it,” said Bowser in an interview with CNN’s John King on “Inside Politics.” “While the spotlight of Covid-19 is on it, we need national and local strategies to have more equal medical outcomes for African Americans in our country.”
Her comments come after early data on coronavirus deaths in Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey revealed that African American communities were disproportionately affected by the virus.
Bowser also highlighted DC’s need for testing resources, which she said are necessary to reopen the economy. When asked about President Donald Trump’s potential May 1 reopening target, she explained that the District has not reached its peak.
“We know that our surge in the District is going to come much later than May 1. DC residents have stayed home and are helping to push down our curve and to push it out,” Bowser said. “So we don’t expect our peak medical surge to happen until June.”
Bowser ordered the closure of nonessential businesses in DC from March 25 through April 24.
In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the coronavirus is disproportionately “devastating” the city’s black community and that it’s “an issue that’s not unique to Chicago unfortunately.”
“We’re seeing similar kinds of numbers reported across the country in large urban centers,” Lightfoot said Sunday. “And the answer that we believe is right is because of the underlying conditions that people of color, particularly black folks, suffer from, whether it’s diabetes, heart disease, upper respiratory illnesses.”
The mayor announced last week that 72% of the city’s deaths related to coronavirus have been black Chicagoans, even though African Americans make up 30% of city’s population.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.