African American and Immigrant Leaders Call on Gov. Mills to Do More to Protect People of Color from COVID-19
AUGUSTA – Racially and ethnically diverse elected officials and community leaders will come together for a virtual press conference today, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. to call on Gov. Mills and her administration to do more to protect people of color from the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Mainers, in particular, are far more likely to test positive for the virus than white Mainers.
Speakers include Representatives Rachel Talbot Ross and Craig Hickman, Bright Lukusa, Ines Mugisha, Crystal Cron, Michael Kebede, and Fatuma Hussein. They will be joined on-screen by several elected officials and community leaders representing a diverse array of communities.
Black and African American people make up only 1.6 percent of Maine’s total population, but they make up almost 28 percent of COVID-19 cases where the race of the person is known, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control. People of color make up almost 33 percent of tests where race is known. This is the worst racial disparity in the entire nation.
The pandemic has brought to light long-standing structural inequities in Maine’s housing, health care, and employment systems, say the advocates. They are calling on Gov. Mills to take immediate steps to reduce the harm done to Black people and other people of color.
Press will have the opportunity to ask questions following the comments.
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