(WISCONSIN) — Congresswoman Gwen Moore, State Senator LaTonya Johnson and Common Council President Cavalier Johnson held a video press call where they called out the ways in which President Trump’s failed coronavirus response has exacerbated the stark inequalities that have existed in the United States for centuries. Trump has done little to address the crisis, resulting in Black Wisconsinites dying from COVID-19 at seven times the rate as White Wisconsinites while the Latinx community makes up 32 percent of the positive COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County. Vice President Joe Biden has released a plan to advance racial equity as part of our coronavirus recovery.
Watch the full event here or read excerpts of what the speakers said below.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: “When you think about living in the nation that spends twice as much money on health care as other wealthy countries. When you think about the treasure that we spend and we have the sickest people on Earth and to have this be the global epicenter of COVID-19 is disgraceful, tragic, and unnecessary. Joe Biden warned us in January that COVID-19 was coming this way. In the meantime we had President Trump denying it… and we squandered February, March, April, June, July… We will never be able to flatten the curve unless we have leadership at the top…In Congress now, we are having my republican colleagues not want to renew the $600 a week unemployment insurance for fear that there is some moral hazard in people not wanting to go back to work, in an effort to force people to open the economy again. Instead, Republicans have spent the last 75 days on their package dithering… I just want to say that we just can’t wait to elect Joe Biden on November 3rd.”
State Senator LaTonya Johnson: “Our world has changed a lot over the past few months, but the one thing that has remained the same is that Black and brown people in Wisconsin are needlessly dying because of the disparities that are growing even worse because of Trump’s gross mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our health care system’s glaring inequities impact families across the state of Wisconsin. Our Black infant mortality rate is the worst in the nation and Black mothers are five times as likely to die in childbirth as white mothers. These are not just statistics, these are lived experiences that families are facing everyday in their health care system, and they’ve faced these disparities for decades… So when I see Trump claiming that this is all going to go away, that this is all going to disappear, one thing is for sure…everybody knows someone who has been impacted by the coronavirus, and some of those individuals know individuals who have died; some of them are family members. We know all too well that this is not a virus that is just simply going to go away, and that the deaths that have occurred in this city have an impact. Those people matter, their lives matter, and their families matter… This is why we need Joe Biden. We need a comprehensive plan to help us deal with the coronavirus, but all of the other issues that our state is facing…This is why I am so very excited to put my support behind Joe Biden and his leadership, so we can finally get the leadership that this country needs.”
Common Council President Cavalier Johnson: “The bottom line is that the city of Milwaukee needs help and we need help from the White House. It is very difficult to do the things that we need to do when we have a President in the White House that seems to be more interested in stoking racial grievances and pretending that the virus doesn’t even exist…I represent service workers and health care workers…people who are on the frontline of this pandemic… The inequities in our communities that we face, from economic to health var to environmental, have only gotten worse under this President. Because of the structural racism that exists in our country, and the president at the top who is an advocate for it, it’s incredibly difficult for Black people and brown people to get ahead. The only way to get out of this crisis is to make Donald Trump a one term president…We need somebody like Joe Biden in the White House who is going to fight for us every single day that he walks into that oval office, and I’m convinced of that and am looking forward to doing all that I can to make sure that Joe Biden is the next President of the United States.”