Friday Gov. Edwards announced his task force addressing racial disparities in Louisiana’s health system is getting half a million dollars from private donors.
“African Americans make up about 32-33% of [the] states population, but they represent 59% or so of our reported deaths,” Edwards said. “We know that these disparities have existed for generations probably before we started studying such things.”
Dr. Sandra Brown, a co-chair on that task force, is concerned that black communities won’t have access to adequate testing and wants to change that.
“[We need to] bring testing to the communities that are most impacted,” Dr. Brown said. “We need to look at zip codes, where is the aggregate data of these individuals who are most likely have suffered from COVID, is it certain zip codes that we have to target?”
Brown recommends testing hours get extended. This is something Senator Bill Cassidy agrees with.
Many are also wondering if the economy will reopen on May 1 and if it remains closed, would another round of stimulus checks be distributed. Cassidy says it all depends on the numbers.
“If we’re able to flatten the curve rapidly and find out who’s at risk and who’s not, then we hopefully don’t need another stimulus check because the whole economy is reopened,” Cassidy said.
The state is working toward gradually reopening in phases, but Gov. Edwards says the health of all Louisianans is his top priority.