WILMINGTON, Del., April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Following data released by the Delaware Division of Health on Friday showing the staggering discrepancy between the infection rates for black, Hispanic and white Delawareans, today Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) is calling on Governor Carney to form a Racial Equity Taskforce to address COVID-19's disproportionate effects on Delaware's communities of color.
Per a recent report by the Delaware News Journal, "Black and Hispanic Delawareans are being infected with the coronavirus at a drastically higher rate than white residents, reflecting a grim nationwide trend, according to data released by the state Friday. The rate of COVID-19 cases among Hispanic and black residents is 60.1 per 10,000 people and 46.1 per 10,000 people, respectively, according to the data. This is significantly higher than the infection rate among white Delawareans, which is 13.9 per 10,000."
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, "This state data was only released two weeks after Citizens partnered with local pastors to urge Governor Carney for a racial breakdown of the state's coronavirus cases. Now that we have some data, we know that the results are even worse than we feared, and that's to say nothing of the fact that we still don't know the race of roughly 25% of the total number of confirmed cases in this state. We saw the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color throughout the country but Governor Carney was slow to act and now, lives are at stake.
"In both New York City and Chicago, leaders have created the Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce and the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team (RERRT), respectively. Both taskforces will support proactive outreach to communities of color, bridge the gap of healthcare access and hold the City accountable for real, positive gains in health outcomes for people of color."
"We have known for some time that communities of color would be more negatively impacted by COVID-19 and we call on Governor Carney to create an official taskforce, with funding, to coordinate the state's response," said Pastor Dale Dennis II of Hoyt Memorial CME Church in Wilmington. The Governor must ensure that culturally competent providers who look and speak like the communities in most desperate need of education, support and care are dispatched, en masse, to neighborhoods with the highest disparities in health, access to care and wealth. These efforts need to be scrutinized and leaders held accountable for immediately lowering the numbers of infections in black, Hispanic and immigrant populations."
Prisons have also become hotspots for infection in Delaware, as The Delaware Department of Corrections confirmed the first death of an inmate from the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on Sunday after denying prisoners masks for critical weeks while the virus spread. The DOC reversed its decision and has now provided masks to 900 of its 4200 inmates.
Said Coffey, "Delaware needs to release nonviolent criminals and protect Delaware's inmate population. In a state plagued by systemic inequities in the justice system, where people of color are vastly overrepresented in prisons and jails, it's imperative that the state step in to ensure the tragedy of the carceral system is not compounded by the tragedy of a public health crisis. A prison sentence should not be a death sentence."
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the issue. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.
Contact: Chris Coffey, [email protected]
SOURCE Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware