Report shows disparities in virus cases, deaths by ethnic group

HONOLULU — A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report authored by Hawai‘i researchers demonstrates the value of separating public-health data in order to identify and address racial disparities.

Data collected by the state Department of Health revealed racial disparities in COVID-19 infections and death.

Race and ethnicity can serve as markers for underlying systemic and structural inequities that drive health disparities.

This data informed DOH’s COVID-19 response and emphasized the need to prevent and reduce inequities in social determinants of health, access to health care and health conditions.

“These findings demonstrate the importance of collecting and disaggregating data to more effectively address health disparities,” said Dr. Joshua Quint, DOH epidemiologist and primary author.

“We are thankful for our community partners who have worked hand-in-hand with DOH in our health-equity efforts, and we are committed to continuing to make data available to improve health outcomes.”

The Hawai‘i data was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a national weekly journal highlighting public-health information and recommendations. Authors include researchers from DOH, University of Hawai‘i and Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Data from Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian populations are often combined into one group in studies, which can hide important differences between these communities.

By separating COVID-19 infection and mortality data into more-detailed racial subgroups, the report highlights large disparities in COVID-19 case and death rates among Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian communities.

Rates of infection and death were highest among Pacific Islander populations. Additionally, researchers found that, among Asian populations, infection rates were highest among the Filipino and Vietnamese populations.

Data included in the analysis was collected between March 1, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021, but DOH continues to collect and report disaggregated infection and mortality data.

The data allowed DOH to improve its community response, which included the creation of the Pacific Islander Priority Investigations and Outreach Team and the COVID-19 Outreach and Public Health Education project to provide translated prevention information, improved access to resources and support community outreach. These efforts complemented grassroots initiatives within Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Filipino communities.

The article follows the March release of the DOH’s “COVID-19 in Hawai‘i: Addressing Health Equity in Diverse Populations” report.

  1. Ken Conklin September 20, 2021 12:03 pm Reply

    This article says “Race and ethnicity can serve as markers for underlying systemic and structural inequities that drive health disparities.” That’s correct. However, It’s a terrible thing to stereotype individuals according to their race or ethnicity. And it’s also terrible for government to give benefits to all members of a specific racial or ethnic group to the exclusion of other groups merely because the favorite group has a higher overall percentage of victims.

    It has become a fad to “disaggregate” victimhood data so that each sub-ethnicity in a larger group can be separately identified as having worse victimhood than other sub-ethnicities. But that does nothing to actually cure the diseases or social dysfunctions of any actual person. Such disaggregation does two things, both bad: (a) it makes the general public more fearful of certain subgroups, stereotyping any individual of a subgroup as more likely to have a contagious disease or undesirable lifestyle merely because that individual is part of a group; and (b) it encourages government to allocate a larger portion of resources to one subgroup at the expense of other subgroups, even when not all members are needy.

    Racial prejudice and stereotyping are harmful. Instead of giving special favors to all members of a racial group, or to the tycoons of their grievance industry, the favors should be given to the individuals who need them regardless of race. Think about this: if help is given to needy individuals regardless of race, then most of the help will be given to any particular racial group if that group is truly the most needy; and it will happen without engaging in upfront racial discrimination or stereotyping.

    There’s a long history of scamming government benefits through statistical malpractice. Anyone with a drop of Hawaiian native blood is listed as entirely “Native Hawaiian” even if most of their ancestry comes from Asia or Europe, thereby making “Native Hawaiian” look like the worst victims while also depriving other ethnicities of the victimhood they truly have. For details google the following phrase including quote marks:
    “How and why the Hawaiian grievance industry uses bogus statistics to scam government and philanthropic organizations, politicians, and public opinion.”
    and also
    “4 Hawaiians Only” angelfire

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.