The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health Wednesday held a hearing to discuss COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on racial and ethnic minorities.

Witnesses for the hearing, titled "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System," were pediatrician Rhea Boyd, M.D., National Medical Association President Oliver T. Brooks, M.D., and Avik S. A. Roy, head of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

The witnesses discussed the numerous contributing factors to racial disparities in COVID-19, including environmental racism and lack of access to clean water; housing segregation; and underrepresentation in, and lack of access to, clinical trials.

To further explore solutions, the committee is forming a racial disparities working group to be co-led by Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.  Chairman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., called on committee members who represent Native American communities and tribal nations to work together on recommendations to address COVID-19-related disparities that affect their constituents.

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