Black Essential Workers Tell Biden What Surviving Coronavirus Pandemic Has Been Like
Black people who work on the lines of Coronavirus Pandemic spoke to the president Joe Biden Tuesday describing the struggles they faced COVID-19 Crisis and encouraging anyone who can be vaccinated to do so.
On a Virtual roundtable In the incident that also involved a pharmacist, a child care worker and a firefighter, grocery store manager Jeff Carter said he knew of several workers at Hy-Vee Stores in Sewer Rapids, Iowa, who COVID Has landed with -19.
“Our employees are on the front lines,” Carter said, even with plexiglass installed for the necessary cashiers and masks in stores, their workers still endangering their health interacting with customers every day Have been. “For many of us, the question was not whether we were going to catch the virus, but when.”
America hit the dreaded milestone of this week One and a half million people are dying From the virus. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected: Black people are three times as likely to be hospitalized as whites in America, and Likely to die twice.
Biden has Proposed a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief planWhich which Discussions are being held in Congress.
“All of you are basically holding the country together,” Biden told the workers on Tuesday, promising to support them more once the legislative package passes. “You’re carrying it on your back. So thanks for what you did.”
more than 44 million people At least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been found in the US. Speaking on Tuesday, Biden urged anyone “to be qualified as soon as possible.”
The President, however, acknowledged Reasons for systemic racism in health care – Or, as he said, “the way American medicine has taken advantage of African Americans for experimentation over the last 100 years” – some black Americans are hesitant to get the vaccine.
Melanie Owens, a Chicago pharmacist and participant in the roundtable, became ill with COVID-19 last March. Her pharmacy, which is predominantly in the black community, has been providing vaccines to people living in long-term care homes.
Owens was initially “more reluctant”, he said, to receive the vaccine, but he was vaccinated out of a sense of duty to protect older residents working in care facilities. After Owens was vaccinated, some of the staff at the facilities changed their minds and decided to get the vaccine as well.
“You can be intimidated and question it, but do your due diligence,” Owens urged, noting that as many people were vaccinated as possible “a major to help us move it forward The key. “
He said, “I encourage everyone to help vaccines here.” “Please keep the vaccine on, because it is helping to keep people alive and safe.”
The federal government has set guidelines for who should be given priority for vaccines, but ultimately leaves it up to states to determine who is eligible and when. In some states, essential workers and Vulnerable population So far the vaccine has been left out of the push.
Carmen Palmer, a child care worker in Columbus, Ohio, who attended the roundtable, Urged Ohio to include activists like her In vaccination scheme with K-12 teachers, who are currently eligible.
“I’ve worked every single day during an epidemic,” said Palmer, a single mother whose facility takes care of the children of essential workers. “If I had COVID, or my children, I would have no choice.”
Alfred, a firefighter and EMT demerit in St. Louis who was also on Tuesday’s call, warned that after the epidemic passes, federal and local governments will need to continue with emergency services, so workers will be “in the epidemic.” Not considered “necessary”. It is itself facing budget cuts or job losses.
Alfred said, “If I had a magic wand, I would have ensured that we get the proper money to sustain our jobs.”
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