COVID-19

The advent of COVID 19 has highlighted the inherent financial inequities in the United States as well as our lack of preparedness to address this national emergency. This has resulted in a severe and widespread financial crisis for many Americans, from the middle class to low wage workers. As dreadful as this virus is it has had the effect of attracting attention to the financial, health and security needs of Americans from the middle class to those who are most vulnerable in our society. It  is clear that the current economic infrastructure does not support the needs of the average person during a pandemic or other major disaster.

the sustainability of the business economy cannot be the primary focus of economic relief and economic policy in general.. Our current economic system has become one which places the viability of businesses over that of people. It is based upon a misguided set of priorities. The needs of the people and employees must come before those of business. Currently our economic policies must focus on providing a lifeline to Americans who are struggling to keep their heads above water We must also ensure that everyone has access to truly affordable income-based healthcare. No one should have to choose between death by going to work and starvation by staying home with no income. At the end of this crisis, we must take a hard and serious look into our Nations’ financial strategies, principles and priorities. Our attitude as a Nation must be that people come before business.

 

 

COVID has unmasked, the historical injustices and the impact of post slavery racism.  Racist Environmental, economic and political factors have been compounded for generations,  and have put black people at higher risk of chronic conditions such as  asthma, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. 

 The virus has already cost us trillions of dollars in stimulus money and the lasting effects on our economy may not be fully known for years to come. But worse of all, this virus has had a dire effect on the health, safety, and financial security of our most vulnerable populations.  Should we endure another such pandemic or natural disaster without having strengthened the financial health of Black people, POC, and low wage workers, the impact can be utterly and completely devastating

As with many of the problems that face the African American community the cause in this case goes back to historical and structural racism. The NY Times 1619 article by Linda Villarosa highlighted Myths about physical racial differences many of which are shockingly still believed and acted upon by doctors today. For instance, Black people are thought to have less sensitivity to pain causing many doctors to fail to treat legitimate complaints by black patients.  In 2005, a study by the National Academy of Medicine reported that “Black people simply are not receiving the same quality of health care that their white counterparts receive.”

 

Obviously there is a need for equitable access to medical care through such proposed laws as Medicare for All. However, there is a strong need for education on both sides of the spectrum with regard to health related issues facing African Americans.  Congress Must enact a rigorous nonjudgmental congressional committee in which healthcare providers, patients, and researchers participate to understand the historical causes for differences in the health and treatment of people of color. Africans must be educated to demand equitable health care services.  The AMA must identify outdated and dangerous myths about s African American health and ensure that these myths are no longer taught to doctors in training.

COVID-19 and the AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

Akil Khalfani

- FOR US CONGRESS -

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