LOS ANGELES – In response to calls and protests to “reopen Los Angeles,” City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson has released a video statement calling on Angelenos to take into account communities of color who will be most negatively impacted by a premature reopening of businesses and public spaces across Los Angeles.
“People of color are being hit by this pandemic physically, mentally, and financially,” Wesson begins. “A long history of unequal access to health care has left Black, Latino, and the working poor in a position to be disproportionately killed by the virus. As we begin to reopen, we need to take a hard look at ways to protect those who will be the most negatively impacted.”
Wesson’s statement comes in response to reports from across the country, including in Los Angeles County, that historically disadvantaged communities have been hit the hardest physically by COVID-19, and that these same communities represent a disproportionate number of those unemployed due to the layoffs that have come as a result of businesses closing their doors.
In his statement, Wesson highlights that while African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up over one-third of reported COVID-19 cases.
“These same communities are less likely to have health insurance and paid leave to support them when they get sick, making the economic and health consequences even more severe,” Wesson says.