Washington, DC — On a press call this afternoon, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36), Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete (D-AZ-30), National Hispanic Medical Association President and CEO Dr. Elena Rios along with Protect Our Care discussed the glaring racial disparities in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis in Latino communities that have suffered the brunt of the financial consequences of the pandemic. Senator Cortez Masto, Rep. Ruiz, State Senator Navarette, Dr. Rios and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach also addressed a new report released by Protect Our Care on how Latinos are far more likely to face barriers to accessing health care and how Trump’s war on health care, particularly his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, would devastate Latino communities during this crisis.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, Latinos face stark health disparities based on social, economic, and environmental factors,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “From increased risks to babies and mothers during pregnancy to elevated threats from the novel coronavirus for seniors in nursing homes, these disparities affect Latino communities at every stage. The Trump Administration’s attempt to rip away the Affordable Care Act would exacerbate these disparities even more. That’s why I’m working so hard in the Senate on more legislation to shore up our health care system, increase access to quality health care, safely restart our economy, and get Nevadans the resources they need to thrive.”
“COVID-19 has certainly hit communities of color harder, and it has magnified the inequities we already knew existed in our health care system,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Instead of working to increase health care access, this Administration has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicaid funding, and make it harder to see a doctor. We are determined to fight so that all Americans — regardless of zip code or the color of their skin — have access to the health care they need.”
“We knew that prior to COVID-19, the health disparities in communities of color throughout the nation were significantly behind their white counterparts across the country and what COVID-19 did was deepen those health inequities,” said State Senator Navarrete. “President Trump’s botched response to COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many Americans, and here in Arizona we are seeing so many families have to deal with the pain of COVID-19 and the loss of family members.”
“The Trump administration has rolled back the tremendous gains of the Affordable Care Act — which was the most transformative law for us — especially in having navigators for our communities that come from Latin America and did not have health insurance in their families before,” said Dr. Rios. “Our Latino community is going to bear the brunt of COVID-19 as the backbone of the economy in this country. Latinos are the up and coming young people who are going to be the functioning adults in our whole country’s economic system, and whatever we can do on behalf of the National Hispanic Medical Association, that’s what we are here for.”
“President Trump continues to fail Latino communities who face overwhelming barriers in accessing health care and protecting themselves from the coronavirus,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Latinos are the least likely demographic to have health insurance and Latino workers are disproportionately represented in jobs more likely to expose them to the virus. President Trump needs to focus on serving Latino communities who have suffered as a result of his administration’s disastrous response to the coronavirus crisis and his years-long war against health care.”