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CAIR Applauds Maryland Lawmakers for Successfully Appealing for Release of Racial Data on Statewide COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

(Baltimore, Md., 4/7/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Maryland lawmakers’ successful efforts to call on the state to release data on the race of patients who contract or die from COVID-19.

SEE: Maryland will start reporting info about race of coronavirus patients, governor says

“As concerns mount about access to personal protective equipment and adequate health care, leaders have an obligation to ensure that crisis management policies and decisions do not neglect or sideline historically marginalized and disadvantaged communities,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Zainab Chaudry. “Obtaining racial data will enable community stakeholders and public health officials to identify disparities in resource deployment and treatment, and ensure more equitable outcomes across the state.”

Earlier today in his daily news conference on the pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he has instructed the state’s health lab to collect and release information on the race of patients who are tested for the disease, and to also encourage private labs to be “as proactive as anyone in the nation” to also follow suit. 

The call for this data in Maryland was prompted by State Delegate Nick Mosby amidst reports that the pandemic was disproportionately adversely impacting communities of color and especially Black communities.

On Monday, he was joined by some 80 members of the House of Delegates who wrote a letter to the Governor seeking: the number of positive and negatives COVID-19 cases by zip code; the breakdown of individuals being tested, and testing positive by race; and the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths by race. 

SEE: Maryland Del. Nick Mosby, 80 Legislators Call For Gov. Hogan To Release Racial, Zip Code Data

Chilling statistics in recent weeks have revealed that Black communities are being infected at alarming rates in numerous cities and states across the nation. 

African-Americans make up less than one-third of the population in Chicago, yet are more than half of those who’ve tested positive, and over 70 percent of those who died from the virus. 

African-Americans also make up only one-third of Louisiana’s population, yet comprise approximately 70 percent of COVID-related deaths. 

SEE:  Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States

Governor Hogan qualified that initially the data will have significant gaps because many health care providers and hospitals are currently sending tests to private labs in other states.

As of this morning, Maryland has confirmed over 4,370 coronavirus cases, with COVID-19 related deaths surpassing 100.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Zainab Chaudry,,  410-971-6062

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