The country's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other medical professionals addressed the striking impact COVID-19 has had on Latino communities.
"Clearly, we have an extraordinary problem; one that we can begin to address now by making sure that the resources regarding testing and immediate access to care have focus with the distribution of resources among the Latinx community," Dr. Fauci told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
There was also a sobering statement by Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.
"I'm calling this historic decimation of Hispanic, Latino communities across the southern part of the United States," Hotez said.
He illustrated that point by reading from daily COVID-19 reports in Houston, Texas.
"Male Hispanic, male Hispanic, female Black, female Black, male Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic Hispanic," he read.
Latinos are three times as likely to test positive, five times as likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than the White population, according to one report by the Joint Economic Committee.
Meanwhile, a UCLA study found that in California, coronavirus-associated deaths among Latinos ages 18 to 64 increased about five times between May and August, and pointed to a lack of protection for essential workers as a root cause.
RELATED: COVID-19 death rate among CA Latinos sharply increasing, UCLA study finds
"The virus is taking away a whole generation of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters," Hotez said.
Like Jose Valero of Southern California, who is survived by his wife and three children, including a newborn. Valero was 35 years old, pre-diabetic and worked at a produce market.
Fauci stressed the importance of diverse participants in clinical trials for a safe vaccine, and the long-term challenge of addressing comorbidities.
"We need to get a diverse representation of the population in the clinical trials, so that when they have proven to be safe and effective. We can say they are safe and effective in everyone," he said.
Medical expert describes 'historic decimation' of Latinos by COVID-19
Latinos are three times as likely to test positive, five times as likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than the White population, according to a report.
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