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VIDEO: Rep. Ayanna Pressley Claims ‘Communities of Color Are Disproportionately Impacted’ by a Virus

Rep. Ayanna Pressley: “History has shown us that in the face of combating any virus, that communities of color are disproportionately impacted.”

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MELVIN: “Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley joins me now, of course, Democrat from Massachusetts. Congresswoman, thank you so much for your time this morning. I understand you’ve written a letter, along with Senators Booker, Senator Warren, Senator Kamala Harris as well. And you wrote this letter, as I understand it, and you correct me if I’m wrong here, to the secretary of Health and Human Services. Tell me more about the letter, what you and your fellow lawmakers hope to accomplish.”

PRESSLEY: “Well, we wrote that letter on March 27th because history has shown us that in the face of combating any virus, that communities of color are disproportionately impacted. We saw that with H1N1. And of course, we know communities of color represent a more vulnerable group because they also represent many of those underlying conditions that put someone at risk. And so on March 27th, myself, Senator Warren and Harris and Booker respectively sent a letter to Health and Human Services to collect data in realtime to disaggregate and disaggregate that data. We have not heard a response from them. There are some states that are already doing this. But we need this to be standardized across the board because it will directly inform how we coordinate and marshal resources. And we know that which gets measured gets done. It will give assurances that access to testing and treatment is affordable in meeting the scale and scope of this pandemic.”

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MELVIN: “ Congresswoman, I just heard something there in the governor’s briefing. There was a question asked about this sort of racial disparity that we’re talking about. And the response was basically they collect — they’re collecting the data from the coroner’s office after someone has been — I guess it’s been determined they’ve died as a result of Coronavirus. Do you know if that’s the norm nationwide? Is that unique to New York?”

PRESSLEY: “Well, again, that’s the point. That’s why went that initial letter March 27th because we know what history has already shown us. To this day, myself and representative Robin Kelley of Illinois are writing a letter with the Congressional Black Caucus advocating for democratic leadership to make this a priority. We need standardized testing. This has to be a federal mandate. And not only that we have that — I’m sorry not testing, but not only that we have that data, but that it is being publicly shared. We’re already collecting age and gender. And by collecting age and we can now see that — we see a higher proportionality of men being represented in this, men of color in particular. And so it is important we begin to collect this data, just do disaggregate it and publicly share it in real time. And I will also add given that the community of color disproportionately suffer from those underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable like asthma and heart disease and diabetes, that is why I also continue to fight for community health centers because we know that disproportionately that our most vulnerable communities lack equal access to quality health care. And so in meeting the scale and scope in this pandemic, we have to continue to fight for those community health centers as well.” ayanna pressley virus color

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, FoxNews.com, 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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