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[科隆] Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition: We’ve been hit the hardest

发表于 7.5.2021 01:43:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
“This is real people. We are dying,” said Priscilla Flint-Banks, a panelist on Friday’s Zoom press conference hosted by the Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition. She added that her 80-year-old mother just died from the virus.

The coalition brought together leaders in the black community to urge both Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin Walsh to help minorities beat back the virus — from supplying masks, economic opportunity and keep cleaning the MBTA.

The city’s latest statistics show 10,761 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Boston and 496 deaths. Statewide, more than 75,000 people have tested positive and 4,702 have died, according to the state Department of Public Health.
As the state plans on slowly reopening the economy on May 18, coalition members said the black community must play a key role.

“We can’t talk about recovery until we talk about response,” said coalition member Louis Elisa of Dorchester, a former regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Residents of Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, he said, are looking for a “fair process” of being included in the hoped-for rebound — and that includes testing.

The Walsh administration announced late Friday the city is “committed to expanding COVID-19 testing over the coming weeks to reach at least 1,500 tests per day, on average.”

Coalition members spoke passionately about “essential workers” — still reporting to hard-hit nursing homes, group homes, grocery stores — who have been exposed to the virus and must ride the MBTA to get home to apartments where they could infect others.

“Everyone needs to wear masks. You can’t take that for granted,” Elisa added.

Segun Idowu, executive director of Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, cited estimates that 25% of Boston’s businesses will not survive the pandemic. “The black business community faces the most dire threat,” he adding, saying those owners were already struggling.

He called on the city and state to account for federal bailouts, show how much is being spent on minority businesses and support black and Latino entrepreneurs. He added any recovery will be boosted by black businesses hiring back workers.

Others called for more urgency to understand the “hurt” in the black community.

City COVID-19 statistics show 44% of Boston’s white population and 35% of the black population are seeing the most deaths — yet population estimates show Boston is 44.4% white, 22.4% black.

“There are still more hot spots out there than we know,” Elisa said.

“It’s a petri dish,” said another.

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