October 06, 2020

Baltimore Delegation Announces More Than $8.3 Million for Johns Hopkins University Research on COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $8,310,893 in federal funding for Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to research COVID-19 health disparities among underserved populations and minority communities.

“COVID-19 has exposed longstanding inequities in our health care system, making Black, Latino and Indigenous communities in Maryland and around the nation more likely to face higher rates of infection, hospitalizations and death,” said the lawmakers. “This federal funding will help Johns Hopkins University expand its efforts to increase COVID-19 testing and response efforts to meet the needs of these hardest-hit communities of color. Team Maryland will continue to secure federal resources to combat COVID-19 across the state and tackle life-threatening racial and ethnic health disparities.”

The awards are distributed among the following JHU programs:

  • $3,517,791 for “Protecting Native Families from COVID-19,” a JHU study to address high COVID-19 mortality rates among American Indian and Navajo Nation communities.
  • $3,222,658 for the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research to study the effectiveness of testing strategies to address disparities among African American, Latino, and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations in Baltimore. 
  • $1,570,444 for Juntos (Together), a JHU collaborative community-led initiative to increase COVID-19 testing in the Latino/Latina community in Baltimore. 
Funding comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RADx Underserved Populations initiative, which aims to understand COVID-19 disparities among communities disproportionately affected by the disease. NIH has awarded nearly $234 million through this program to improve COVID-19 testing for underserved and vulnerable populations nationwide.