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Senator Stabenow: We need to address inequalities that led to COVID-19 racial disparities

Senator Debbie Stabenow
United States Department of Agriculture
Senator Debbe Stabenow (MI-D)

Senator Debbie Stabenow says we need to address the structural inequalities that have led to racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths

The Democratic senator from Michigan is the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman. The committee published a report that looks at the long standing social inequities between communities of color and white communities and how that shaped the current COVID-19 crisis. 

Stabenow says this is about more than just the people suffering during this pandemic.

“The bottom line for us is not only to address what should be done in this crisis, but to begin to address the structural inequalities that have created this situation in the first place,” Stabenow said.

The report outlines that communities of color generally have less access to quality health care, face challenges accessing healthy food, are more likely to have a pre-existing condition, suffer greater exposure to air pollution, and are hit hardest by growing levels of poverty as layoffs and furloughs continue to rise.

Those are just some of the social inequities that need to be addressed.

Stabenow says she and her Democratic colleagues are not only committed to addressing the risk factors for COVID-19.

“But also the historic discrimination that has created barriers to economic opportunity and to the health disparities that we are seeing right now,” she said.

Stabenow says one thing that could go a long way in helping is more economic support for first responders and their families.

Michigan Radio listeners, readers, and reporters are rising to the challenge every day. If you can, please support essential journalism during this crisis.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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