COVID-19 Update on Health Care Professionals
May 17, 2020
On April 13, data from Medscape was used to prepare a gender-demographic report on the death of health care professionals (HCPs) as a result of COVID-19. In the original report there were 477 international HCPs listed. By May 13, the number increased to just over 950 names.
This follow up report looks at HCP deaths in the United States only; though international data still indicates male HCP COVID-19 deaths remains significantly higher than female deaths.
On May 13, Men accounted for 64.5 of COVID-19 HCP deaths in the U.S.
On April 13, Men accounted for 62% of COVID-19 HCP deaths in the U.S.
Over 200 U.S. Health Care Professionals are listed on Medscape. Data reveals the percentage of U.S. male HCP COVID-19 deaths increased from 62% of total HCP COVID-19 deaths to 64.5%. Female HCP deaths went from 38% of total HCP COVID-19 deaths to 35.5%. (It should be noted there was an increase in the number of male and female HCP COVID-19 deaths because more HCPs continue to work the front lines and place themselves at risk.)
Men, however, continue to make-up a much larger percentage of all HCP COVID-19 deaths, even though men only represent 24% of all health care jobs according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Democratic senators, led my Kamala Harris, sent "a letter to the [Trump] administration’s top health officials, calling on them to establish a protocol that will ensure an accurate and transparent death toll and consistent Covid-19 statistics.”
Although I applaud the substance of the letter, it needs to go further, even briefly, to discuss the importance of gender and racial demographic-data to provide a clearer picture of the pandemic in America. Recent articles on race and COVID-19 do not go far enough to report gender demographic-data.
A recent New York Times article discussed the potential that "racial bias might be contributing to the disproportionately high rate at which the novel coronavirus is killing African-Americans." Such articles shed light to a certain degree, yet need to include the data that reveals COVID-19 reaches across racial lines and more specifically into male ones.
National Geographic reports on COVID-19 as part of "the deadly legacy of inequality" and race while excluding the male component of race, perhaps a more deadly legacy. Wired uses a similar approach to "expose a gulf in the health statistics of white and black Americans that has existed for decades" while ignoring the gender data essential to quantify the way COVID-19 impacts males of all races more than and females of all races.
Identifying the death-toll of people of color does not go far enough and cannot go far enough until it addresses the gender demographic-data with it. Providing thorough reports that combine gender and racial demographic-data remains a short-coming in many such reports.
Groups like the CDC, HHS, FEMA, and other organizations need fuller data reports, and the media needs to pay considerably more attention to gender demographic-data when men are more vulnerable because we culturally tend to overlook issues when men are victims to a greater degree.