WASHINGTON, DC - Today, as the United States approaches the grim milestone of surpassing 200,000 deaths caused by COVID-19, Human Rights Campaign Foundation ( HRC ) President Alphonso David released the following statement:
"When this pandemic began, we pushed and advocated for real action to avoid the needless deaths of people in this country. Today, we know the grim truth: that this administration's botched handling of the pandemic has led to 200,000 people losing their lives.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the preexisting disparities in this country: those who are most vulnerable, most marginalized, are most at risk of both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We have seen Black and brown people bear the brunt of this virus and we have seen LGBTQ people face particularly daunting economic realities as the economy has struggled to recover from an ongoing public health crisis. This administration must do more to ease the suffering of people across this country. It must expand economic relief measures and listen to health experts to ensure we protect the most marginalized among us."
It is impossible to know how many LGBTQ people have contracted the virus, as many states do not collect data on sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has long called for LGBTQ-inclusive data collection in order to understand the full impact of health crises, like COVID-19, on the community. HRC has also called for passage of the Heroes Act, including additional health care funding, money for expanded testing and tracing, extended unemployment benefits, additional assistance to individuals and families, assistance to states and local governments and funding for vote by mail and other election assistance.
HRC, in partnership with PSB Insights, has been tracking the economic impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community. Key findings include:
- The LGBTQ population is 20% more likely than the general population to have experienced a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
- LGBTQ people of color are 44% more likely and transgender people are 125% more likely than the general population to have had a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
- The LGBTQ population is 30% more likely than the general population to have lost their jobs since some states initiated reopening policies due to COVID-19.
- LGBTQ people of color are 70% more likely and bisexual people are 80% more likely than the general population to have lost their jobs since some states initiated reopening policies due to COVID-19.
We know that queer businesses have struggled to stay open in the face of the pandemic. That's why HRC partnered with SHOWTIME to launch "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative," a program to support businesses that have been impacted by the virus and serve the LGBTQ+ community with a focus on LGBTQ people of color, women and the transgender community. 10 queer businesses from across the country received funding to help them weather the crisis.
HRC has also launched a way for people to record a message of love, loss or support to share with the HRC community as part of COVID-19 National Day of Remembrance on October 4. To record a message, text "COVID" to 472-472 ( Msg&data rates may apply. Recurring msgs. txtSTOP2quit. HELP4info ).
Read our full reports on the impact of reopening and the economic effects of COVID-19 on LGBTQ people, LGBTQ people of color, transgender people and Black LGBTQ people on HRC's website.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.