Today’s Coronavirus Tracker

Current updates on association response to the global COVID-19 crisis, along with a roundup of conference, travel, and business news and information.

COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Latinx Americans

It’s well known that COVID-19 has hit some groups harder than others. This week, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Medical Association is documenting its outsize effects on Latinx Americans in a new report.

Latinx COVID-19 Health Inequities: Insights for the Health Care Field compiles existing data showing the disproportionate impact of the virus on Latinx communities. For example, although Hispanics make up 18 percent of the U.S. population, they account for a third of new infections nationwide. And in some states, Hispanics are overrepresented among COVID-19 deaths.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already more publicly exposed the persistent fundamental health inequities faced by Black and Brown communities, but this report uncovers just how dire the situation is in the Latinx community,” AMA Chief Health Equity Officer and Group Vice President Aletha Maybank, M.D., M.P.H., said in a press release. “In this critical moment, it is imperative that we confront inequities and dismantle racism in all its forms, so that marginalized and minoritized communities like the Latinx population no longer have to bear the brunt of this public health crisis.”

The report links Latinx Americans’ greater coronavirus vulnerability to structural issues like anti-immigration and restrictive health insurance policies, as well as their limited access to digital technologies that enable telehealth care and a lack of adequate multilingual public health resources.

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“Though COVID-19 did not create the circumstances that have led to deep-seated inequities in the Hispanic community, this report clearly highlights how the pandemic continues to exacerbate them,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “The AMA remains committed to ensuring that vulnerable patients do not suffer disproportionately and to removing obstacles that stand in the way of culturally competent care for Hispanic patients.”

Recent Headlines

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How to Ask for a Raise During the Coronavirus Pandemic (HuffPost, 10/22/20) “[I]f your company has downsized, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is no additional money for you. If you’re a survivor of layoffs, that can also be an indication of the business value you hold for your company. ‘Particularly during the pandemic, if you have taken on additional roles, if you have taken on additional responsibilities, if you’re more on call,’ then that’s an opportunity to have the salary conversation, said Ramona Ortega, founder of personal finance platform My Money My Future.”

U.S. Sees Busiest Day for Air Travel Since the Start of COVID-19 (New York Post, 10/21/20) “More than 1 million people passed through TSA airport checkpoints on Sunday, Oct. 18—the most since March 17, the agency said. The high-travel weekend brought the total number of air travelers during the week of Oct. 12 to Oct. 18 to 6.1 million—another pandemic-era peak, according to the numbers published on Monday.”

Economy Won’t Bounce Back Until 2022, Even With Good Vaccine Rollout, New Report Finds (Washington Post 10/21/20) “Under the Boston Consulting Group’s most likely scenario of the U.S. health response to the crisis, a ‘good-but-not-great rollout [of a vaccine] delays defeating the pandemic by about six months, until the first quarter of 2022,’ according to the report…. And the firm presents an even darker timeline in which less effective trials, delayed authorization and distribution of the vaccines mean the pandemic continues for another two years. In this bear case, ‘little proceeds as planned.’”

Current Incidence Statistics

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Data sources include the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, as well as local authorities, medical sources, and news reports.