Pressure to reveal racial info about COVID-19 impact

Coronavirus
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NEW YORK — The city continues to release data of which neighborhoods are getting hit hardest by COVID-19 and the pattern emerging if one of racial and wealth disparity.

Now there are new calls for more information about and support for neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19, particularly communities of color.

“There are stories about people dying in their apartments and not being found until days later,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

Williams is is calling for a racial breakdown of the city data about confirmed cases.

He said firm action was not taken early on to protect communities of color, which make up the majority of city transit workers, grocery store employees and cashiers at businesses now considered “essential.” Williams believes more drastic and painful steps are needed to save lives.

“It’s so unfair that we believe these communities are ‘essential,’ lump them together, have them go out, and they’re the ones on the front lines dying,” Williams said. “We have to reconsider what ‘essential’ is, and lock down the city tighter than we considered before. We may have to some time soon restrict the MTA.”

“I think this is a sort of fast paced, vidid example, of how disparities of health and wealth play out in our society every day,” said CUNY epidemiologist Dr. Denis Nash.

Nash said at a minimum there needs to be a serous conversation around the topic of these essential workers, who are currently keeping some tiny semblance of normalcy in New York amidst the pandemic.

“There needs to be more attention around how we protect those who have to go to work,” Nash said.

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