The value of representation and diversity is high. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have paid particular attention to statistics and which demographics they include. Early on, some states and counties did not tally race and ethnicity, thus could not provide a full picture of who the coronavirus affected.
In this post, I am sharing a video with you from Meet the Press on July 4, 2021. Forty-three minutes and 10 seconds in to the video, Meet the Press cites data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showing that life expectancy has decreased one year overall.
What is telling about this data is that Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are notably excluded. These three groups are affected by the pandemic as well, so why is data not collected and presented for these demographics? Without these groups, how could the “Overall” be presented as accurate or representative of the U.S.? One reasonable conclusion is that these excluded groups are socially not considered as part of the country, their numbers and representing them don’t count.
Moreover, I went to the CDC website and searched for this information to see if this is an accurate representation of what the CDC published, but I can’t find it. I expected this new data to be front and center or among the most recently published, but it’s non-existent when I searched.
- Changes in Life Expectancy at Birth, 2018-2019
- Death and Mortality for the top 10 causes of death, 2019
- Mortality in the United States, 2019, includes information on top 10 causes of death and mortality adjusted for race, ethnicity, and sex (does not include Asian, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders)
If you happen to find the report cited in Meet the Press, please share the link in the Comment section.
I can’t emphasize how important accurate and authentic representation of every demographic is for a country that is as diverse as the U.S. Anything short of accurate representation is a failure on the people and organizations who intentionally include these demographics. At this point, racism is clear.