A new study from The University of Washington (IHME) suggests 905,000 have died from COVID-19 in The U.S., more than double the official death toll reported by the CDC. Yet, with almost half of the demographic data missing in every state, we don’t have a full picture of the extent of the disparities. However, suppose we impute the missing data and recognize that Latinos make up 18.5% of the U.S. population but account for 21.3% of deaths nationally. In that case, the total death count due to COVID-19 for the Latino population is over 190,000.
In response to these issues, we formed the Latino Coalition Against COVID-19.a national community-led, non-partisan, collaborative movement to build health equity in Latinx communities. We come together to transform our communities’ social and economic conditions by connecting with other organizations, task forces, and alliances to build community capacity, combat misinformation, and amplify local voices to a national level. By forming meaningful partnerships facilitated by active collaboration and shared decision-making, our collective efforts can change public policy, reallocate funding to those who need it most, and improve the health and well-being of Latinx communities across the country.
Our goal is to ensure Latinos have accurate, readily available, and transparent information about COVID-19, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, resources, and services. In addition, we want to make sure our story is heard and that we have the tools to overcome digital exclusion, a new social determinant of health, to remain aware and engaged. Our virtual town halls are where we celebrate our victories and envision ways to address the root causes of health inequities that led to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in our Latinx communities.
We invite everyone from concerned individuals and their families to leaders of organizations to help change the narrative and reconfigure the American landscape into one that is anti-racist and values social justice and health equity for all.