Warren, Wyden, and Colleagues Urge CDC to Make Public COVID-19 Testing Data to Ensure Effective Response to the Pandemic
Members ask CDC for comprehensive demographic data about testing availability, health care access, and more amid ongoing limited access to tests; Last month, Senator Warren and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley also urged HHS to collect and publicly release racial and ethnic demographic data on testing and treatment
Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), with 15 colleagues, to request the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) start to publicly report all available information about who is able to access COVID-19 tests. Last month, Senator Warren and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) led their colleagues in urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect and publicly release racial and ethnic demographic data on testing and treatment for COVID-19 in order to identify and address racial disparities.
In their April 7 letter to the CDC, the lawmakers requested data broken down by sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider, and any other available demographics. The CDC is currently only disclosing a subset of its data, primarily the age groups of those testing positive, hospitalizations and fatalities.
"As COVID-19 spreads into more American communities, government agencies and academic and industry researchers are working hard to understand the depth and breadth of the pandemic and its impact on the health and well-being of Americans," the members wrote. "To this end, it is important to document if particular groups in the United States are at greater risk for the virus and why."
The members requested the CDC publicly report demographic information collected on the Human Infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Person Under Investigation (PUI) and Case Report Form -- sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics -- as a function of:
a) access to testing;
b) positive test results;
d) intensive care unit admissions; and
They also requested that any updated PUI and Case Report Form include updated categories for race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status consistent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Guidance on Data Collection Standards, as well as an input for “specialty” of the health care worker.
To allow government agencies and researchers access to the data, the members also requested that the data be made available as a National Center for Health Statistics public-use data file.
U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and U.S. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), also joined the request in a letter to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield.
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