From Race Forward, March 27, 2020
As the coronavirus spreads and a public health emergency intensifies, Race Forward calls on local and state governments and those who are doing emergency planning to pay special attention to the impact that this disease and the response to its spread may have on people and communities of color.
We call for an approach that provides accurate information and advances practices and policies based in science, and that ensures compassionate and comprehensive medical and social services for those most vulnerable to exposure. We are all only as safe as those members of our community who are most at risk.
While we know that anyone can contract the virus, we also know that the impacts on communities of color could be severe. People of color are disproportionately likely to be in low-paying or hourly-wage jobs that make them unable to provide care or interrupt work. They are also more likely to have limited access to affordable healthcare, childcare, and transportation. People of color are more likely to face unsanitary conditions inside prisons, jails, and detention centers. Funding disparities in communities of color have led to hospital closures; shortages of frontline doctors and nurses; higher incidences of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease; housing overcrowding; and lack of quality elder care.