Meharry Proposes Consortium of HBCU Med Schools to Tackle COVID-19’s Uneven Toll

June 1, 2020

The president of the historically Black Meharry Medical College said on Wednesday that a consortium of the nation’s four Black medical schools would be the group best prepared to tackle the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black people and communities of color.

Dr. James E.K. Hildreth

In testimony on Wednesday, before a virtual convening of the House Ways and Means Committee, Meharry’s president and CEO, Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, said the consortium, led by Meharry, is uniquely qualified to address the healthcare needs of people of color during the current pandemic, which has claimed at least 20,399 Black lives in the country to date.

On the day the Committee heard from Hildreth and other witnesses about the outsized impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on some of the country’s most vulnerable groups, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. surpassed 100,000. By May 20, nearly 23% of reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. were African American although they make up 13% of the population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

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