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Funding Will Support Critical Research Regarding Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Communities of Color

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $192,235 in federal funding for Cornell University’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences. This funding was awarded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will be used to support a research study entitled “RAPID: Understanding increased social bias during the COVID-19 crisis in the United States.” Leading social psychologists and behavioral economists will analyze public opinion data to investigate how social bias has continued to impact communities of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic economically and especially in terms of rate of infection and death,” said Senator Schumer. “During the height of the pandemic in New York, people of color were more likely to get sick, die from coronavirus, be refused loans, and be in danger of losing their housing during a time when we were urging people to stay at home. In order to combat the years of systemic racism that have affected communities of color, it is important that we understand how social bias manifested during this pandemic. I am proud to deliver this funding that will help bring us closer to learning how to break the cycle of racism and better serve New York’s underprivileged communities.”

As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect communities of color and other underserved groups, we must support legislation and research to understand and eliminate health disparities that have been exacerbated by institutional and systemic racism,” said Senator Gillibrand. “New York’s highest death rates have occurred in low-income communities of color – a pattern that has been compounded by generations of health care inequities. I will continue fighting for research, resources, and investments in health care for underserved and high-risk populations during this pandemic.” 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in the United States. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, the NSF works to develop the knowledge and cutting edge technologies needed to address the challenges our nation continues to face.