Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) office announced that she will introduce the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act. This legislation would bring together health care and other policy experts; community-based organizations; and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders to address the racial and ethnic disparities in the coronavirus pandemic. Following the announcement of the bill, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The coronavirus pandemic has magnified long-standing racial and ethnic health disparities in the American health care system. These structural inequities have persisted across income levels and generations. Sen. Harris’ COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force would bring much-needed
accountability, oversight, and equity to the federal response, including data-driven solutions to mitigate the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people of color. Equally important, this legislation will also create a permanent Infectious Disease Racial Disparities Task Force to begin to dismantle the barriers that people of color have long faced when attempting to access health care.