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Photo: Andrew Harnik, The Associated Press
Photo: Andrew Harnik, The Associated Press

Governors, President continue to ignore Black, Latinx coronavirus deaths

The Trump administration asks for the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act at a time when Black and Latinx lives depend on healthcare the most.

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The racial disparities in regards to the coronavirus are worse than previously thought, and as states continue to reopen and lessen restrictions, Black and Latinx lives are increasingly at stake.

Since implementing reopening measures, cases in Arizona, Texas and Florida have seen upward trends — each of these states with particularly high Latinx populations.

And today, the President Donald Trump likened these surges to “‘Embers’ or flare ups.”

After continued pressure by politicians like Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Julián Castro, Texas governor Greg Abbot, today doubled back on his attempts to reopen the state, announcing all bars must close at noon, reinstating restrictions on restaurants and outdoor gatherings.

“We need… Gov. Abbot to do what’s right after rushing to reopen TX. We Can’t allow Huston to become the next epicenter of this pandemic. We must save lives,” tweeted Garcia.

In response to the increasing coronavirus cases, Castro lamented on Twitter about the lack of earlier action., 

“This could have been avoided if he’d done things right the first time!” he tweeted.

Both Gov. Abbot and Doug Ducey (R-AZ) announced reopening their states despite upward trends in both states.

Over half of Texas’ population is Black and Latinx. In Arizona, 30% of the population is Latinx, with the state currently seeing one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. Arizona has “Lost control of the epidemic,” reported The Washington Post Friday.

Similarly, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is facing increased criticism after failing to increase testing and not promoting protective gear. Florida is dealing with record case numbers after early reopening measures. Florida is 16.9% Black and 35.6% Latinx or Hispanic. DeSantis also recently blamed essential Hispanic migrant workers for the outbreak.

He joined Abbot on Friday, in closing all bars to limit the spread of the virus.

Black and Latinx lives are proven to be as much as ten times more at risk to contract coronavirus because they are more likely to be essential workers in industries like agriculture, healthcare and food service. Essential employees stayed in these high contact, high risk jobs while the rest remained in lockdown. 

These millions of essential workers currently risking their lives, are disproportionately women and BIPOC. A recent study suggests 40% of these continue to commute to work each day, while earning less than a living wage.

And now, the Trump administration is pushing to end the Affordable Care Act 

 

The end of ACA?
 

Thursday night, the Trump administration filed its opening brief in the major constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The argument comes as hundreds of thousands of Americans have turned to the program for healthcare amid staggering unemployment rates during the pandemic.

The administration filed the opening on the same day the nation saw a record 1.5 million workers file for unemployment.

“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement.

“The Trump administration wants people to die,” tweeted California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

Governors’ and the President’s continued ignorance of how the recent coronavirus surges are directly linked to their policies sends a clear message to Black and Latinx individuals: The economy and their political agendas matters more than their lives.

 

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