Minorities in North Carolina are severely and disproportionately affected by Covid-19. At his press conference Thursday, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order designed to address these inequities.
"In North Carolina, African Americans make up only 22% of the population, but as of June 1st they account for 30% of the confirmed Covid-19 cases and 34% of Covid-19 deaths. LatinX people are just 10% of the population and yet they make up 39% of Covid-19 confirmed cases. These statistics are alarming and they are not acceptable."
It’s nothing inherent in black or brown people, says Governor Roy Cooper, that makes them more susceptible to Covid-19. It’s the racial inequity built into North Carolina’s health care system, housing, and access to economic opportunities.
Executive Order 143 creates a task force -- to be led by Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the state Department of Administration.
"Health inequities are the result of more than individual choice or random occurrence. They are the result of ongoing interplay of inequitable structures, policies, and norms… such as segregation, red-lining, and foreclosure."
The Executive Order also directs the Pandemic Recovery Office to ensure the fair distribution of relief funds and it tasks the state’s Historically Underutilized Business Office to provide more resources for businesses run by people of color. Other directives include expanding Covid-19 testing information for people of color and putting a focus on environmental justice.