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Alexandria Ocasio-CortezCoronavirusMenRec VideosNew YorkNews/OpinionPresident TrumpRacism

AOC on Effects of Coronavirus: ‘Environmental Racism’ Is a ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ in NYC

AOC: “When we talk about environmental racism, we’re talking about illegal dumping … through … the blackest communities and the brownest communities.”

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GONZALEZ: “And Congresswoman, I wanted to ask you about this enormous all racial and ethnic disparity in the cases and especially in the deaths that are occurring. As you mentioned, and as Amy mentioned earlier, the areas of Elmhurst, Jackson heights and Corona are the epicenter of the epicenter, but the Bronx, a portion of which you also represent, your congressional district stretches out there, has also been hard-hit, according to — as of 10:59 last night, according to the tracker that the city, a website produces for New York City every day, there were 679 people, Bronx residents who had died of coronavirus. That’s more than twice as many as have died in Manhattan, only 302 in Manhattan even though the Bronx is significantly smaller in population that Manhattan. And you’ve got a situation where the Bronx is 16 percent of the population of the city, but it represents 24 percent of all the deaths. So we have a situation here where even in Brooklyn, the areas of Brooklyn where most residents are dying are in the North Brooklyn, in the black and brown communities. How do you — how do you assess the city and the state’s response to what is clearly a disparate impact of this epidemic?”

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OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Yes. Well, as I had mentioned earlier, inequality, environmental racism, these are pre-existing conditions. And when you have a pandemic, similar to what we saw with hurricane Maria, when you have a natural disaster or an event like a pandemic, hit communities that have already been ravaged by weakened healthcare systems, weakened infrastructure, the South Bronx has one of the highest childhood asthma rates in the country. When we talk about environmental racism, we’re talking about illegal dumping, we’re talking about concentrating waste sites and concentrating highways and trucking zones through the poorest communities in the country and the blackest communities and the brownest communities. And so we already have an issue of extreme and acute concentration of respiratory illnesses in the Bronx. That is largely due to the trucking that comes through here, to the environmental inequalities that come through here. And so when you have the cross-Bronx expressway, which was a notorious project of racism by Robert Moses, the way that he tried to concentrate and push these communities and design these communities through, when you have the toll of health inequities, and on top of that these are our front line workers. Where you see our front line workers living are where you see — are the same places where you are seeing COVID cases spiking. Black and brown workers are overwhelmingly part of this front line. They are the grocery store workers. They are the delivery workers. They are hospital workers, including janitorial staff. And so when you have this pandemic layer on top of it, when you pair that to the — to the unequal access to care, when you pair that with ratios of hospital beds far lower than more affluent communities, this is what you get. And so when it comes to the city’s response, it’s — you know, I believe that the city is doing absolutely everything they can, but we also have to acknowledge that there are two entirely different starting lines that these communities are starting with. And so we’ve been working very hard, but also, when we don’t push for things like rent and more full rent and mortgage moratoriums, you push these workers to go outside because they feel a pressure to make their rent. And they may go out and take work, they may take work under the table in order to make ends meet, and so without this economic relief it also adds to the public health issues that we currently face.” aoc environmental racism

GOODMAN: “After break we’re gonna talk with you about the stimulus package, about what you’ve called the corporate slush fund, that $500 billion.” aoc environmental racism

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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