Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Delaware, joined Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and 14 other colleagues April 8 to urge the Centers for Disease Control to publicly report all available information about who is able to access COVID-19 tests, which continue to be scarce.
The members of Congress 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 U.S. 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 and Case Report Form — sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics — as a function of access to testing; positive test results; hospitalizations; intensive care unit admissions; and fatalities.
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.
A digital copy of the letter text is available at bit.ly/2xVqWvv.