Daily COVID-19 Briefing from UCC - facts, not fear
COVID-19 Daily Briefing from UCC's Humanitarian and Development Team separates facts from falsehoods and fear, supplying valuable information throughout the duration of the pandemic crisis. This resource is prepared by Barbara T. Baylor, MPH, Temporary Health Liaison serving on UCC's Wider Church Ministries - Humanitarian and Development Team.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa are climbing. Turkey and Iran have the most cases to date. In other countries, especially in the Gulf, Iraq and Egypt, the count is also increasing, in part because of better testing and in part as countries ease or lift restrictions and lockdown measures.
As protesters call for meaningful action to address police brutality and systemic racism in the United States, the movement to defund the police is growing because many feel that police have gotten away with violence against Black people for decades. Many are calling for action to redirect resources from policing to healthcare, education, housing, jobs and true community safety.
"Black Americans are bearing the brunt of three crises - police violence, crushing unemployment and the deadliest infectious disease threat in a century — that have laid bare longstanding injustice," writes Emily Kask in The New York Times. Is it more important to decry the inhumane treatment and killing of Black and Brown persons at the hands of white police or to practice social distancing?
Across the vast Southern Asia region, differing factors are affecting the spread of COVID-19. Following are snapshots from the three countries with the most infections: India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Until recently, racial data for COVID-19 was sparse, and it’s still incomplete. The good news is that now 48 states plus Washington, D.C., report at least some data. Census tract data have helped to reveal where “hot spots” are within low-income communities. Read about it - and about the UCC's new Racial and Ethnic Disparities ("RED") Task Force.
COVID-19 research and treatment could be hampered if the United States withdraws its membership and its funding from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). But on May 29, President Donald Trump said he would do just that. The United States is one of the body's founders (in 1948) and helped to build it. U.S. membership is by treaty arrangement, promising no hasty withdrawal.
Every one of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean has confirmed cases of COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis brings to the fore many of the structural social problems of the region, as it hits the poorest hardest. Latin America and the Caribbean continue to face unique challenges to safeguard their societies and populations.
The Medicare program has a positive track record of reducing disparities based on race and ethnicity. But disparities persist even within the Medicare population - in access, service use and health outcomes, with Blacks and Hispanics experiencing worse health indicators and receiving lower quality of care than Whites. Why?
On May 15, 2020, The House of Representatives passed the Health Economic Recovery Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act to further try to kick-start the U.S. economy after more than two months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 crisis. A key issue in this bill is a second round of stimulus checks for millions of Americans during the pandemic. Will it pass?
On May 22 a shocking new report estimated that 24 U. S. states have an uncontrolled COVID-19 spread, right as the country begins to reopen. And there is still no coronavirus vaccine or treatment. Without changes in behavior along with increased testing and contact tracing to limit transmission, new infections of COVID-19 are likely to persist – and even more than double over the next two months.