CHN’S COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship June 19
It is Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, the U.S. Army reached Galveston, TX to tell enslaved Black Americans that they were free, 2 months after the Civil War had ended with Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. We celebrate freedom today, but we also must confront that we are not two months late, but 155 years late in ridding the nation of the scourge of racism. That scourge is killing Black Americans ages 45-54 at 7 times the rate of white Americans from COVID-19. It means more Blacks and Latinx are losing income from work during the pandemic than whites, more work in frontline jobs and cannot work safely at home, more Blacks and Latinx are poor, more do not have enough to eat, and more are falling behind in their rent. And yet the Senate is still late, with no intention to take up more COVID legislation until mid-July, and no certainty that Majority Leader McConnell or the Trump Administration will support proposals most likely to prevent hunger, homelessness, harm to children and long-term joblessness still disproportionately visited upon Blacks, Latinx, and Native Americans. The Senate must join the House in enacting COVID recovery legislation similar to the House’s HEROES act.