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CDC report finds COVID-19 hits LGBTQ harder

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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report last week found that LGBTQ people are more likely to have severe outcomes from COVID-19 than heterosexual people.

The report found that because LGBTQ people were more likely to have underlying conditions that contributed to severe problems connected to COVID-19, no matter their race or ethnic group.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, LGBTQ people were at higher risk because they were less likely to have health insurance and more likely to smoke or have a chronic illness. The HRC said that LGBTQ had been affected more by the economic damage from the pandemic than the larger population.

“This report affirms what LGBTQ advocates and organizations have known all along: that our community is at greater risk and disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Alphonso David, president of the HRC. It is critical that health disparities in marginalized communities are fully captured by government data collection so they can be swiftly addressed. The Trump administration failed to acknowledge the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ people; it is most welcome that the Biden administration is not politicizing our community’s health and instead is addressing the realities we are facing.”

Statistics from the HRC include:

  • 37% of LGBTQ adult smokers smoke every day compared to 27% of non-LGBTQ people.
  • 21% of LGBTQ adults have had asthma, compared to 14% of non-LGBTQ people.
  • One in five LGBTQ adults aged 50 and above have diabetes.
  • 17% of LGBTQ adults do not have any kind of health insurance coverage, compared to 12% of non-LGBTQ adults.

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