February 5, 2021

Mary Emily O’Hara 
Rapid Response Manager

Congress is now moving to write into law the details of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan. GLAAD is urging Congress to fully fund the plan and pass it as soon as possible to provide immediate relief, considering the disproportionate impact COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis have had on LGBTQ Americans. 

The CDC just issued a report detailing the increased risks to LGBTQ people for contracting COVID-19 and for suffering severe symptoms and long-term health complications. The CDC also recommends including sexual orientation and gender identity in data collection in order to better track COVID-19 rates in the LGBTQ community. Only a few states have started requiring LGBTQ data collection, months into the pandemic.  

Quote from GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis:

“Nearly 70% of Americans support President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Cutting back that plan will have a compounding effect on LGBTQ Americans and all marginalized communities already in crisis. The CDC confirmed LGBTQ people are at higher risk of contracting and suffering severe complications from COVID-19. LGBTQ Americans also face higher rates of job loss and poorer access to healthcare. Congress must put all it can into a plan that maximizes relief for our community and all those most at risk.”



A Quinnipiac University poll released February 3 found that nearly 70 percent of American voters (68%) support Biden’s full $1.9 trillion relief bill.

In a November GLAAD post-election poll, 54% of LGBTQ voters cited Biden’s COVID-19 response as their most important ballot issue. Additionally, LGBTQ voters shared the personal impact of the pandemic on their lives: 36% reported struggling with mental health, 36% had a close friend or relative test positive, 29% lost a job or had work reduced, and 10% experienced the death of a close friend or relative due to COVID complications. 

CDC report 2/4: Members of the LGBTQ community are at greater risk of experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19. Members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to have underlying health conditions that put them at an increased risk to both contract the coronavirus and experience severe symptoms of the disease.

LGBTQ racial and ethnic minority groups are at an increased risk of experiencing severe coronavirus symptoms compared to heterosexual counterparts.

 LGBTQ Americans are more likely to experience discrimination and stigmatization that may increase their risk of illness and limit their access to proper health care.

MAP (Movement Advancement Project) research shows LGBTQ households—especially those headed by Black and Latinx LGBTQ people—experienced disproportionate, negative impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - twice as likely to be unable to get necessary medical care; four times more likely to not have enough food to eat as non-LGBTQ households.

64% of LGBTQ people and their families experienced a job loss or disruption, compared to just under half (45%) of non-LGBTQ households. 

71% of Latinx LGBTQ households experienced loss of a job or other employment disruption.

Nearly all (95%) Black LGBTQ households and 70% of Latinx LGBTQ households experienced at least one serious financial problem since the pandemic began.

LGBTQ youth are also particularly vulnerable: the Trevor Project data shows that LGBTQ youth are experiencing more isolation, less access to physical and mental health care and treatment, in addition to many reporting that they do not feel safe at home during quarantine.

Nearly all states fail to collect data on COVID-19 regarding patients’ sexual orientation or gender identity, information used to allocate resources and ensure equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines.


Additional research:

Biden’s American Rescue Plan

MAP research re: COVID impact on LGBTQ households

COVID-19 and LGBTQ youth