By Juanita V. Barton
TITUSVILLE – The health and economic catastrophe facing our country continues to cry out for urgent action. The American people cannot afford to wait until next year for action. The House of Representatives has made good on their offer to compromise. It is imperative that the Senate agrees to join the House in resolving the health and economic devastation that is facing Black people.
I am disappointed and so is every Black woman I know.
We are disappointed that Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have ignored us for months. They’ve ignored the fact that coronavirus is three times as fatal for Black Americans. They’ve ignored the 17 percent of all frontline workers that are Black and that doctors were less likely to refer Black patients exhibiting coronavirus symptoms for testing or treatment. They’ve ignored the evidence that screening sites are mostly located in white neighborhoods, making it more difficult for Black communities to access necessary care and trace coronavirus outbreaks.
It’s been seven months since Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott hit pause on passing comprehensive Coronavirus legislation. The House of Representatives passed one bill in May and another in October that would have expanded testing and treatment, helped frontline workers, extended the $600 unemployment benefits, provided money for Medicaid and helped families that are going hungry. Small businesses got some small support in July, but the rest of us? We got executive orders from Donald Trump that were short term band aids and mere suggestions at best and a direct threat to Social Security and Medicare at worst.
And now that a group of Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, have agreed to a compromise that would help people avoid evictions, continue to get unemployment benefits and help hungry families put food on the table, where are McConnell, Rubio and Scott? McConnell is opposed and Rubio and Scott are as silent as the grave.
I was disappointed. Now, I am very concerned. Why aren’t you?