California’s Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) Chair, Dr. Shirley Weber, recently teamed with California’s Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and hosted a virtual town hall to engage and inform the Black community and others around issues related to COVID-19.
The timing was right as the virus is, once again, exploding across the state and stay-at-home orders are converging with the imminent deployment of a vaccine.
COVID-19’s impact on Blacks is ominous. About 46,000 nationwide have already died from it.
Weber centered the discussion on “the disparate impact the disease has had on the Black community,” and what can be done to improve their health outcomes.
“Health care needs have been met with great public and private partnerships and community programs designed to quickly meet the needs embroiled in an evolving health crisis,” Weber said. “Unfortunately, many in the Black community faced challenges with access to health care prior to the pandemic and have struggled to receive their fair share of these crucial services.”
As Blacks continue to face disproportionate rates of infection and mortality, “this serves as evidence there is a greater need for investment and oversight from the state to ensure the equitable distribution of services and resources becomes a policy priority. We want to identify other things that can be done to ensure resources, equity, and fairness as we go forward,” she offered. “We are generally hit the hardest because of all the structural weaknesses in our community.”
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