Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges CDC to Publish Data on Impact of COVID-19 in Schools
October 2, 2020
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined 23 of her fellow members of Congress in a letter to Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield, urging the CDC to begin collecting and publishing data nationally to track and address the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected young Hispanic, Black, Native Americans and Alaska Natives. In addition, young Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are overrepresented with chronic medical conditions that put them at greater risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. The federal government is not currently tracking outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools, leaving the responsibility to states and school districts.
Members of Congress wrote to Director Redfield: “Efforts to reopen our classrooms should not happen in the dark. The limited COVID-19 school data we do have so far is troubling. This week the CDC reported that more than 120 youth (aged 21 and younger) have died of COVID-19 between February and July. Notably, the burden of disease revealed stark disparities.
“Seventy-five percent of the youth deaths were students of color, despite Hispanic, Black and American Indians or Alaskan Natives making up only 41 percent of the U.S. youth population. Further, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) acquire underlying chronic medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, at younger ages than other ethnic groups. This puts NHPI students at greater risk of severe symptoms of COVID-19. We cannot allow these disparities to continue. Data is the first step to addressing these alarming inequities.”
You can read the letter to CDC Director Dr. Redfield on Rep. Gabbard’s website.
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and her team have been working since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis to bring more resources home to Hawaiʻi, while also keeping Hawaiʻi residents informed through a resource hub on her website, https://gabbard.house.gov/COVID-19.
In addition to outlining federal, state, and local COVID-19 resources, the website provides a synopsis of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s work to address COVID-19 and related issues including protecting and providing for Americans during this public health crisis, securing emergency assistance, highlighting her votes and statements regarding legislation and Congressional action, as well as demands for protective measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Rep. Gabbard has also sent regular e-newsletter updates and hosted virtual town hall events almost every week which include public officials and community leaders to provide updates and directly answer constituent questions.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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