ICYMI: Bustos Interviews Chair of Congressional Black Caucus About Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19

CHAIRWOMAN BASS: “We began to learn that the death rate for African-Americans in some cities is three times the rate of their population.”

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) tapped into her roots as a former investigative reporter when she released a video last week of an interview she conducted with Congressmember Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, to discuss the disproportionate impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on communities of color. As of this morning, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that African-Americans, who make up 16% of Illinois’ population, account for 12% of the total tests, 22.6% of confirmed cases and 36.8% of coronavirus-related deaths in the state.

“I cannot thank Chairwoman Bass enough for her leadership on addressing the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on communities of color and for taking the time to have this critical conversation with me,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “In Congress, I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to bring attention to the unacceptable inequities in health outcomes we are seeing across Illinois and the country. We must drive solutions to overcome these challenges and disparities, which is why I joined my colleagues from the Illinois Congressional Delegation to call for the public reporting of nationwide demographic data of cases and deaths related to the coronavirus.”

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Bustos joined Democratic members of the Illinois Democratic Delegation in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expressing concern regarding the racial disparities that exist in coronavirus cases and deaths. The letter also calls for the public reporting of nationwide demographic data of cases and deaths on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

You may watch the full interview with Chairwoman Bass by clicking here.