ADDED ON: 05/06/2020

U.S. lawmakers push for ‘invisible’ LGBT+ coronavirus patients to be counted

05/05/2020 | Reuters

Authorities must count how many novel coronavirus patients are LGBT+ as they face greater health risks than the population at large, a California lawmaker said on Tuesday, after introducing a bill that would make such data collection mandatory. Figures on the number of LGBT+ people infected by the virus are not yet widely available, but rights advocates say that discrimination in the healthcare system and higher rates of HIV and cancer make gay and trans people particularly vulnerable. “The history of the LGBTQ community is a history of society trying to make us invisible,” Scott Wiener, a San Francisco state Senator, said, adding that the bill would likely reviewed by a Senate committee in a few weeks. “We know that LGBTQ people have heightened risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease … but because no one is collecting data … we have to make assumptions – but we shouldn’t have to make assumptions,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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