We asked for it


Susan Graham for Project RACE


One important thing we have asked for over the past 30 years is that multiracial data be collected and used by the medical sector. If racial and ethnic data is important for majority groups, it should be just as important for the multiracial group. However, this data is rarely collected by the medical arena. It is as though biracial people don’t exist or have no illnesses, health comorbidities, or health outcomes based on being multiracial.

We have now been given some useful data and it is not good. CNN reported that blacks in the UK are four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people and a number of other ethnic groups are also at an increased risk, according to the new data released last Thursday. Mixed race people were finally included in the report by the UK Office for National Statistics. At least the UK is getting it right. I also read a long article also reported by CNN about studies on race and ethnicity done in the US, which mentioned numerous Covid-19 studies done in the US without a single mention of multiracial people. People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, and mixed ethnicities also had a “statistically significant raised risk of death,” the report found. They included “mixed ethnicities.”

The disparities are “partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained,” the study said, even

after taking into account age, demographic factors and measures of self-reported health.

“It is urgent the causes of this disproportionality are investigated,” the UK’s shadow justice secretary David Lammy tweeted on Thursday, calling the findings “appalling.”

“Action must be taken to protect black men and women — as well as people from all backgrounds — from the virus,” he added.

That study and others said excess deaths cannot be explained by differences in geography and demography alone — nor is it accounted for by non-hospital deaths. And the findings also chime with similar reports in the United States, where African Americans have died from Covid-19 at a disproportionately high rate.

Now that we have gotten what we asked for, let’s make certain medical researchers from the UK and all other places make certain they know how important the data is for the multiracial community. We are not just a footnote; we are the story. Talk to your health team about it. Share this news with your family. Make certain that you go out only when necessary, and when you do, keep a safe distance and wear your face mask and other protective equipment. Most important—stay safe!