/  04.03.2022

The disparity between the amount of COVID-19 deaths in poor communities versus wealthier ones is alarming.

The Poor People’s Campaign along with a United Nations group led by economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs  developed The Poor People’s Pandemic Digital Report, which shows that COVID-19 deaths are disproportionately tied to poverty and low wealth.

According to a press release, the report — which will be released on Monday (April 4) — includes an interactive map with details on all 3,000 U.S. counties. It shows that during COVID-19’s deadliest waves, there were up to 4.5x more deaths in the poorest counties.

“Even in a global pandemic, there hasn’t been a systematic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on poor and low-income communities. COVID-19 data collection does not include data on poverty, income, or occupation, alongside race and pandemic outcomes,” said Bishop William Barber II, co-chair, Poor People’s Campaign. “The Poor People’s Pandemic Digital Report and Intersectional Analysis addresses this knowledge gap and exposes the unnecessary deaths by mapping community characteristics and connecting them with COVID-19 outcomes.

“The findings of this report reveal neglect and sometimes intentional decisions to not focus on the poor. The neglect of poor and low-wealth people in this country during a pandemic is immoral, shocking and unjust, especially in light of the trillions of dollars that profit-driven entities received.”

The Poor People’s Pandemic Report will also include in-depth case studies of counties such as: Hinds County, Mississippi; San Carlos Reservation, Gila County, Arizona; Bronx County, New York; Mingo County, West Virginia; Marathon County, Wisconsin;  Harris County, Texas; and Wayne County, North Carolina.

Dr. Sachs, a renowned economist, whose work helped shape the report said that COVID-19 “was not only a national tragedy, but also a failure of social justice.”

“The burden of disease – in terms of deaths, illness, and economic costs – was borne disproportionately by the poor, women, and people of color,” he said in a statement. “The poor were America’s essential workers, on the front lines, saving lives and also incurring disease and death. This pandemic report aims to shed light on the unequal burden of the pandemic, and to help point the way towards a fairer, healthier and more prosperous nation.

The unprecedented findings of the Poor People’s Pandemic Digital Report and Intersectional Analysis will be released on Monday (April 4) at 10 a.m. ET during a news conference by the Poor People’s Campaign, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It will be livestreamed here.


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