Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota on Friday called for President Donald Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release more racial demographic information of Covid-19 cases, after she says the President personally committed to doing so in an April 16 phone call.
In a letter dated Friday, Klobuchar chastises the President on the lack of “complete consistent, and transparent statistics on coronavirus tests, cases, hospitalizations, complications, and deaths,” broken down by race.
“I write to follow up on the commitment that you made to me on our April 16 phone call that your Administration would work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to compile and release racial demographic information related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic within the next week or two,” the letter read.
“Two weeks after that call, the partial information that the CDC has made publicly available falls far short of what is needed and fails to reflect the full magnitude of the pandemic across communities of color,” she wrote.
CNN has reached out to the CDC and White House for response to the letter.
Covid-19 has ravaged minority and low income communities across the country. In Chicago, 54% of deaths from the virus were black, despite black people making up only 30% of the population in April. In New York, Latino people make up 34% of deaths despite being only 29% of the population. In Louisiana, 58% of deaths were black people when they only account for 33% of the demographic.
But Klobuchar, in her letter, contends the two weeks have passed and not enough information has been released.
“It is also unacceptable that data provided by your Administration does not include data from every state, and there are instances where racial and ethnic data failed to be reported even if other types of demographic data were submitted.”
She says as of April 28, the CDC data is missing racial information for more than half of all coronavirus cases and 70% of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus hospitalizations.
Klobuchar’s family has personally been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, her husband John Bessler contracted the virus in March and had to be hospitalized due to low blood oxygen levels and a high fever for a week. He has since recovered.
The Minnesota senator has been a harsh critic on the Trump administration over their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, telling CNN in April, “if we had not lost those precious months when Donald Trump was worrying about his rallies and other things, we could have been in a better shape right now.”