Senator Kamala Harris On COVID-19 Inequalities: Blacks Are Dying At Alarming Rates
Senator Kamala Harris discussed her thoughts on the inequalities that are disproportionately impacting the black community when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. She wrote an open letter via Elle magazine and first said that blacks are more negatively impacted by the widespread of the disease.
“Black people, in particular, are being infected by and dying from COVID-19 at alarming rates. The available data suggests majority Black counties have an infection rate three times and a death rate six times that of majority white counties. These disparities are evident across the country, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles.”
She said that this does nothing more than put the previous racial inequalities in the nation on display.
And this pandemic further reinforces historic inequities, which have roots in slavery and Jim Crow laws, that remain persistent and profound to this very day.”
On how the pandemic is also impacting the community economically, Kamala Harris writes,
“This is especially painful for families that lack savings to fall back on during hard times. For the Black community, a lack of wealth results from a long history of discrimination that has led to the median Black household making 59 cents to the dollar of the median white household, Black people having more student debt than their white counterparts, less homeownership, and a lack of capital for Black businesses. And while employers and schools shift to remote working and learning, many jobs—essential grocery store workers, bus drivers, etc.—cannot be done from the safety of home. And many children—specifically Black children—don’t have access to the internet at home, which will likely cause them to fall behind other students in their age group. All of which continues the cycle of inequality.”
Kamala Harris ends the opinion piece by listing a couple of suggestions that the federal government can do to help minorities, specifically the black community, during this grim time.
“The federal government needs to follow California’s lead and open enrollment into the Affordable Care Act because people need health insurance during a public health crisis. And it’s also important that we address implicit bias among health care providers, especially regarding COVID-19 testing.”
“Policymakers must also prioritize initiatives to study and reduce the disturbing racial disparities in health outcomes. I’ve demanded the federal government collect data so that we can understand the full scope of COVID-19, form a racial disparities task force that can give recommendations on closing inequalities, and prioritize resources to communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”
To see the full article, click the link here.
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