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Carper, Coons call on Trump administration to help minority communities amid COVID-19 crisis

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Delaware, joined Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, and 23 Senate colleagues on an April 10 letter calling on the Trump administration to do more to help minority communities that are seeing a disproportionately higher impact from the coronavirus pandemic

The senators underscored the critical need for demographic and racial data, and that any COVID-19 vaccine or drug treatment trials include women, racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“These disparities are exacerbated by higher rates of chronic disease among many minority populations, inequitable access to health care, reduced rates of economic opportunity, lack of educational opportunities, inadequate access to grocery stores, language barriers and the inability to properly social distance due to working in jobs deemed essential,” the senators wrote to Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“[Any] clinical trials for vaccines and therapeutic treatments of COVID-19 must include participants that racially, socioeconomically, and otherwise demographically represent the United States,” the senators added. “’[Inequitable] research can lead to dangerous outcomes for those who are not represented in clinical trials. Drugs including chemotherapeutics, antiretrovirals, antidepressants, and cardiovascular medications have been withdrawn from market due to differences in drug metabolism and toxicity across race and sex.”

The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2yU3Hm5.