The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force is scheduled Friday to assess the nation’s pandemic response and how it has served communities of color and those with greatest needs.
Watch the meeting stream live in the video player above at 12 p.m. ET Friday.
Data shows the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color in the United States with severe outcomes and death. Experts say those trends further reveal long-standing inequities, such as lack of insurance coverage or access to health care. During the first six months of 2020 alone, life expectancy among Black males dropped by three years, compared to one year for Americans overall, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of internal medicine at Yale University, leads the group, and in recent weeks, she has called for better race and ethnicity data to track who has gotten vaccinated. That way, the U.S. can better understand where more vaccine doses and supplies are needed. According to CDC data, there is no race and ethnicity data available for roughly half of all vaccine recipients so far.
As the country’s largest immunization campaign continues, the Biden administration has called for more vaccinators to volunteer. Nunez-Smith has said more volunteers will help get shots in arms, particularly in underserved communities.