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Research Papers

Misaligned Federal and State Covid data limits demographic insights

CDC underreports cases and deaths among African American and Hispanic or Latino individuals.

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July 14, 2022

A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center are publishing an article in the August 2022 edition of the American Journal of Public Health that demonstrates how a lack of standardization and reporting mechanisms between federal and state COVID-19 data “limits the production of complete real-time demographic data.”

By aggregating and standardizing COVID-19 data on cases and deaths by age, gender, race, and ethnicity from U.S. state and territorial governmental sources between May 24 and June 4, 2021, the researchers found that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consistently underreported “cases and deaths among African American and Hispanic or Latino individuals” and overreported “deaths among people older than 65 years and White individuals,” the research paper states.

The authors are Angel Aliseda-Alonso, Sara Bertran de Lis, Adam Lee, and Emily Pond from the Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence; Beth Blauer, Associate Vice Provost of Public Sector Innovation and CRC data lead; Lainie Rutkow, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives and CRC project lead; and Jennifer B. Nuzzo, a former senior scholar at the Center for Health Security.

To read the paper, visit the American Journal of Public Health.