Tomorrow, the state House and Senate are expected to come to a compromise on what will be their first piece of legislation in response to the COVID-19 crisis, exactly two months after North Carolina’s first case was detected on March 2.
While life has changed for all North Carolinians, some have been more exposed to the dangers posed by the coronavirus pandemic due to policy choices that have blocked people from accessing health care, depleted the public health infrastructure, weakened the social safety net, and diverted money away from communities.
These choices and others translate into health disparities that are putting some in greater danger due to COVID-19 because their limited employment opportunities put them at higher risk of exposure, they have chronic conditions that make them more susceptible to the severe impacts of the disease, and structural inequities make it less likely that they will receive the care they need. The result is that African Americans are disproportionately contracting and dying from COVID-19 in North Carolina. In other areas around the country, Latinx and American Indian populations are also dying at disproportionately high rates given their relative share of the population.
Now is the time to make the investments in public health infrastructure, supports for communities who have been blocked from accessing care, school nutrition, COVID-19 research, and supports for hospitals so they can continue to serve their communities. Here’s how the House and Senate proposals to date compare:
In addition to the funding, there are other key provisions that differ across the bills. Read more