Cuomo: ‘Let’s Figure out’ Why Coronavirus Hitting Minorities Harder

Cuomo: ‘Let’s Figure out’ Why Coronavirus Hitting Minorities Harder


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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New York Gov Andrew Cuomo (D) wants more research into why African Americans and Latinos are affected by natural disasters more than other Americans, whether it’s the current COVID-19 pandemic or past calamities like Hurricane Katrina.

There have been more than 1.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 83,000. 

In the United States, there have been 427,460 cases reported, including 14,696 deaths, according to the most recent data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The area in and around New York has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, and through his daily televised briefings, Cuomo has become a national leader during the time of the disease outbreak.

“There’s also lessons to be learned, why are more African-Americans and Latinos affected? We’ve seen this around the country. Now the numbers in New York are not as bad as the disparities we see in other places across the country, but there still are apparently disparities,” Cuomo said. “Why? Well, comorbidity, I understand that, but I think there is something more to it. You know, it always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price. Why is that? Why is that?

“Whatever the situation is: natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina, the people standing on those rooftops were not rich white people. Why? Why is it that the poorest people pay the highest price? But let’s figure it out. Let’s do the work,” the governor added. “Let’s do the research. Let’s learn from this moment and let’s learn from these lessons and let’s do it now. We are going to do more testing in minority communities — but not just to testing for the virus — let’s actually get research and data that can inform us as to why we are having more people in minority communities, more people in certain neighborhoods, why do they have rate — higher rates of infection?

“I get the co-morbidity, I get the underlying illness issue, but what else is at play? Or more public workers Latino and African-American who don’t have a choice, frankly, but to go out there every day and drive the bus and drive the train and show up for work and wind up subjecting themselves to in this case the virus, whereas many other people who had the option [and] just absented themselves,” Cuomo said. “They live in more dense communities, more urban environments, but what is it? And let’s learn from that and let’s do it now. I’m going to ask our SUNY Albany chief Dr. Havidan Rodriguez to have an effort to do it right now. We’ll do more testing in minority communities now, with more data research done now. So, let’s learn now.”

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