In the last week of December, I had a major story published at MuckRock, USA TODAY, and local newsrooms in Arizona, Oregon, and Texas. The story explains that official COVID-19 statistics underestimate the pandemic’s true toll—particularly on people of color, who are more likely to have their deaths inaccurately represented in mortality data.
Unlike previous vaccination campaigns, the new Omicron boosters are available to all adults across the country who have been previously inoculated. But all previously-vaccinated Americans are not facing similar levels of COVID-19 risk.
This week, I’m sharing a short dispatch from the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) conference in Houston, Texas. I’m discussing the cascading health issues caused by environmental racism—including, of course, COVID-19—as well as the ways that data gaps can make it harder for hard-hit communities to get needed public health assistance.