Dec 18, 2020 - Health

Latina activist laments CDC's COVID guidance for Spanish speakers

Screenshot of an axios event

Axios' Stef Kight (left) and Sindy Benavides (right). Photo: Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to release coronavirus guidance for Spanish speakers when the pandemic started in the spring, said League of United Latin American Citizens CEO Sindy Benavides at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

Why it matters: The Hispanic community represents almost 20% of the U.S. population and has been one of the most affected by the pandemic, along with other communities of color.

What they're saying: "What we have seen is that — particularly in communities of color in the Latino community, in the African-American community, in the Native American community the pandemic has created devastation," Benavides told Axios.

  • "I remember we reached out to the CDC to ask for COVID-19 guidance in Spanish, and their response was, 'we don't have it and we don't know when we're going to have it."
  • "So, we had to jump immediately to make sure that the information was in Spanish and we created something called 'Ayuda en Español' or 'Help in Spanish,'" she added, addressing how League of United Latin American Citizens offered its own Spanish translation of coronavirus guidelines for non-English speakers.

The bottom line: The CDC has since released coronavirus guidelines in Spanish.

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