Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Coronavirus Relief ‘Should Be Drafted with a Lens of Reparations’

FILE - In this July 15, 2019 file photo Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., holds a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. Ocasio-Cortez says she's sorry for blocking a former Brooklyn elected official from her Twitter account after he was critical of her. The Democrat said Monday, Nov. 4 in …
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Friday demanded future coronavirus relief measures to be “drafted with a lens of reparations” to atone for “environmental racism” and other “underlying health conditions” that are causing the virus to “disproportionately” affect minority communities.

According to the New York lawmaker, coronavirus deaths, which now top 51,000 globally, are “disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities” due to the “chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap,” all of which she considers “underlying health conditions.”

“Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez is the latest progressive to promote the burgeoning leftist narrative on race as the United States, and world, continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), alongside Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), have demanded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide racial data related to the coronavirus.

The lawmakers detailed their request in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar last week, which reads in part:

Any attempt to contain COVID-19 in the United States will have to address its potential spread in low-income communities of color, first and foremost to protect the lives of people in those communities, but also to slow the spread of the virus in the country as a whole.

“This lack of information will exacerbate existing health disparities and result in the loss of lives in vulnerable communities,” they added.

Warren said the information is “critical” to “to ensuring an equitable and just response to this crisis across the board”:

The former presidential hopeful linked to an Atlantic article penned by Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He, too, believes racial data on the coronavirus is crucial, arguing that “without racial data, we can’t see racism, and racism becomes like asymptomatic carriers—spreading the virus, and no one knows it.”

“I worry the virus is disproportionately infecting and killing people of color right now—and we don’t even know,” he said.

“I worry the pandemic of racism is worsening the coronavirus pandemic right now—and we don’t even know. And Americans don’t seem to care to know,” he added.

Over one million people across the globe — spanning dozens of countries with vast racial profiles —  have been infected by the coronavirus.

The $2 trillion bipartisan emergency relief package, approved last week, provides relief to Americans across the board — regardless of race or gender — in the form of forgivable small business loans and cash payments made directly to most American citizens.


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