Coronavirus and Inequality

Published — March 20, 2020

Coronavirus and inequality: how the Center for Public Integrity is investigating

A shopper looks for toilet paper at a Stop & Shop supermarket during hours open daily only for seniors during the coronavirus outbreak in North Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus has grounded the nation and shattered the routine of our daily lives. In this time of uncertainty, journalism truly is a public service, giving you information to support your safety and health and context to better understand what’s at stake with this pandemic. I hope you agree with me.

At the Center for Public Integrity, we plan to report about the impact of COVID-19 indefinitely. Inequality is a central character in the story of the pandemic. In the coming weeks and months, this will be the focus of our reporting about the disease, along with our usual dogged pursuit of data and documents to ensure that our state and federal governments are transparent and accountable during this crisis.

While COVID-19 is an equal-opportunity disease, it does not affect people equally. The class and racial fault lines in our society are being exposed (again) by this public health crisis. Some people have the privilege of working from home, while others cannot work at all. Some are more vulnerable to serious illness because of disparities in our health-care system, while others have benefitted from quality medical coverage. And as a Q&A on our website today shows, some children, at home because schools have been shuttered, struggle to learn remotely because they live in communities with limited broadband access.

We want to hear from you as we dig into our long-term reporting about COVID-19. Contact us at

Please be safe and, as always, thank you for your support.


Susan Smith Richardson, CEO

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