COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans, The New York Times is reporting.
The novel coronavirus was deemed a global pandemic in March, prompting most of America to go into government-ordered lockdowns or practice social distancing for public safety. Since then, the virus has wreaked financial and physical havoc across the U.S., in part due to President Donald Trump’s controversial handling of the situation (and inadvertent creation of the perfect conditions for a pandemic). And it’s not over yet.
The virus has also had a disproportionately devastating impact on already marginalized groups, particularly LGBTQ communities of color.
As NewNowNext previously reported, HRC and PSB Insights performed 10 online surveys of 10,000 U.S. adults in total between April 16 and July 8. Across the board, Black LGBTQ respondents were more likely to report losing income, working fewer hours, and trimming their household budgets than non-Black or non-LGBTQ people. HRC also documented the unique impact of COVID-19 on America’s queer Latinx community—many of whom are frontline workers—in its most recent report.
The negative impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color aren’t limited to financial security either. According to the CDC’s provisional estimates from September, 21% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. were Black individuals despite Black people comprising just 13% of the country’s population. Latinx people, who comprise 18.5% of the country’s population, were also disproportionately represented in the death toll.
It’s currently impossible to know how many LGBTQ Americans have died of COVID-19, although groups like HRC have long pushed for queer-inclusive data collection around public health crises and other disasters.
200,000 lost. Millions in mourning, millions more struggling with the worst economy since the great depression. But this is how Trump sees the world — if you are not him, you might as well be dead. I will say it again: we are in the fight for our lives. https://t.co/2qi41UovXz
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) September 22, 2020
In a statement responding to COVID-19’s staggering death toll, HRC president Alphonso David criticized the infamously anti-LGBTQ Trump administration’s “botched handling of the pandemic”:
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the preexisting disparities in this country: those who are most vulnerable, most marginalized, are most at risk of both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We have seen Black and brown people bear the brunt of this virus and we have seen LGBTQ people face particularly daunting economic realities as the economy has struggled to recover from an ongoing public health crisis. This administration must do more to ease the suffering of people across this country. It must expand economic relief measures and listen to health experts to ensure we protect the most marginalized among us.
“This is how Trump sees the world—if you are not him, you might as well be dead,” David added on Twitter. “I will say it again: we are in the fight for our lives.”