Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer creates an advisory Task Force on racial disparities to investigate how Covid19 has afffected the black and brown Americans, the task force is to investigate the disparity and disproportionate effects of COVID-19, and bring out measures to address the disparities and the systemic racial inequities behind them.
In a news conference on Monday the Governor reveals that:
“The deep inequities people in communities of color face, like basic lack of access to health care or transportation or protections in the workplace, have made them more susceptible to COVID-19, We’ve seen heartbreaking stories come out of Detroit. Many who have lost their parents, and children, and friends and neighbors. Michiganders need leaders who are going to do everything they can to lower their risk of catching this virus, no matter their community, their race or socioeconomic status.”
The task force will be led by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist with health personnel and community leaders.
Gilchrist in his speech said
“When communities have been impacted by racial disparities for generations, this means it is a systemic problem, and a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. We know that more often than not, people of color do not have the financial luxury in the state of Michigan to be able to work from home. They are more reliant on public transportation to get groceries or to get to work. They don’t have enough money to buy hundreds of dollars of groceries at a time and have to make repeat trips.”
In addition to studying the disparities in the impact of the coronavirus, the task force’s goals include suggesting ways to:
- Increase transparency in reporting racial and ethnic data related to the spread of COVID-19.
- Remove barriers to accessing proper physical and mental health care, both during a pandemic and following it.
- Reduce the effect of racial bias in the medical industry, specifically in testing and treatment.
- Mitigate environmental and structural racism that contributes to Black and brown residents being more exposed during pandemics resulting in the risk of death.
- Create and improve systems that support long-term economic recovery following a pandemic.