Diaz on Deep-Seated Disparities Exposed by COVID-19

Sonja Diaz, executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, was featured in a New York Times Magazine article about the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and Latino communities in Los Angeles. The disease has killed Black residents at nearly twice the rate and Latinos at nearly three times the rate of white Angelenos. “This is a public policy conundrum and systems failure of a whole other level because of the economic and the public health consequences,” Diaz said. “Ultimately, we’ve failed to respond and to stop the bleeding because we’ve made decisions that either willfully or because of the lack of understanding have excluded the very populations that are critical to the state’s functioning and are also the ones that need our help the most.” She highlighted the importance of making investments now to address these disparities so that vulnerable communities are able to not only survive COVID-19 but also thrive in recovery.

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