/As Covid-19 rips through black communities, African American leaders demand inclusion on response teams

As Covid-19 rips through black communities, African American leaders demand inclusion on response teams

Gov. Gov. “It’s unacceptable,” Corey Wiggins (executive director of Mississippi NAACP), stated to Mississippi Today. A coalition of black leaders demanded the following: increased black representation in state response teams; more investment in COVID-19 interventions, solutions for disadvantaged communities; targeted messaging to the black community; expanded testing; and more data on COVID-19 testing. The letter requests that the state “recognize the multilayered circumstances affecting vulnerable population” The Mississippi State Health Department started releasing statistics on April 8, which show Mississippi’s impact on the national trend of the virus’ devastation on black residents. Blacks accounted for 56 percent of COVID-19 deaths and 63 percent in the overall state population. Mississippi reported race “unknown”, but only a small number of cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By April 19, 65 percent of all cases nationwide had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Mississippi Health Department had begun rebuilding its Health Equity division under Victor Sutton, before COVID-19 struck. Sutton said Dobbs was a “he has put his money where he is.” Sutton stated that the health department has done extensive outreach to the black community around COVID-19 education, and has worked with historically African colleges and more than 90 faith-based leaders. Sutton stated Friday that his wife received a text message from Jackson State concerning testing. “I believe that that is an important piece that cannot be overlooked and must be included in our discussions about reaching the community.” A state in which 31 percent of black residents live in poverty, while 12 percent of whites are in work, economic opportunity is key to the state’s unequal health outcomes. Rep. Jarvis Dortch (D-Raymond) said, “You have to kind of be kind of intentional” if you want to address those problems. The federal government is expected to provide Mississippi with at least $1.25 million to assist it in recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic. This includes the 130,000 Mississippians who have applied for unemployment benefits since Mississippi’s COVID-19 first case. Dortch suggested that elected officials should be able to decide how funding is prioritized. “People elected us in our districts… If I get on the podium and think only about helping the business community, my constituents will know. Dortch stated that they would vote against him. “Joe Sanderson doesn’t have to answer to anyone but himself,” Dortch said. Reeves’ staff did not respond to inquiries about Reeves’ plan to address the root causes of health disparities within the state’s black population. Reeves stated in a press release that Mississippians need to help Mississippians. “I asked a trusted group from our state’s top business leaders to do exactly that. They will develop a set of goals and recommendations for the new economy under the ‘Restart Mississippi” umbrella. They will examine the effects of COVID-19 upon our workforce and small-businesses. They will help us recover — every day.” Reeves spoke out about the lack of worker representation on Friday’s press conference. He said, “We don’t need union bosses telling us how to care for our people. Advocates worry that the virus’disproportionate effect on black people will be reduced due to the higher rates of hypertension and diabetes in the black community. Without black representation on state’s COVID-19-related task forces, advocates are concerned that the root causes will not be addressed. Focusing on the health conditions that are most at risk makes it seem like the victims are being blamed. Instead of addressing the root causes, advocates fear that the state’s COVID-19-related task forces will focus on the victims. Research shows that black Americans are more likely to contract and die from COVID-19 than other people. These disparities are due to poverty, wealth inequality, residential segregation and underfunded education. Although black communities are more vulnerable due to higher poverty rates and lower education levels, these social determinants cannot explain the disparity in health outcomes between white and black Americans. These disparities can also be explained by racial biases in the health system and the higher levels of stress in black communities. “Income and education are a key driver of health in the United States, regardless of race. David Williams, Ph.D. professor of public health Harvard T.H. Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health, professor of African and African American Studies as well as of Sociology. “We have research that documents racism in our society, interpersonal discrimination, and other mechanisms of racist matter for health,” Dobbs’ letter states. It urges the state “healthcare quality and access to timely testing and treatment or biases that Black people may have experienced as our response to the pandemic evolved in the state.” They also request that the health department release more detailed data about COVID-19 cases such as employment and geographical information to help organizers target specific populations with support and information. Nakeitra Burse a local public-health consultant said that organizers could hand out face masks at Wendy’s without knowing if fast-food workers are the most at risk population. Burse stated, “This is a crucial moment for the global community.” “Will this be the same way as before or will we tackle the root cause to create more equitable systems? and strategies?”_x000D