Sen. Quezada statement on COVID-19 and Latino community
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) today issued the following statement on COVID-19 and the Latino community:
“As Rhode Island continues to make strides in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, many of us were dismayed to learn that Latino Rhode Islanders account for a full 42 to 45% of all COVID-19 cases in the state, despite representing 16% of the state’s population. I am pleased that Governor Raimondo has formed a task force to identify the root causes for this disproportionate impact. We can point to a variety of documented preexisting conditions, including the fact that Rhode Island Latinos are overrepresented in low-paying retail, health care, service and so-called gig economy jobs. These are precisely the kinds of jobs that present the highest risk during this pandemic: from certified nursing assistants at senior living facilities to supermarket and bodega clerks, Uber and Amazon drivers, and cleaning and maintenance personnel. Not surprisingly, while many of these jobs have been deemed “essential,” they usually offer little or no health insurance coverage. Another issue we keep hearing about is the number of people working in mid-sized and large manufacturing and packaging plants where social distancing and other preventative measures may or may not be implemented or enforced. A person can wash their hands all day, wear a mask and quarantine at home yet still be exposed to dozens of potential carriers on a daily basis at their place of employment.
"Governor Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott have done a great job leading our state through this crisis. I am confident in our state’s resilience and ability to overcome adversity. However, once we have overcome the pandemic and things begin to normalize again, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to good-paying jobs and health care coverage."
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903