Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday (February 27) highlighted the toll Coronavirus has had on African-Americans during an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Black History Month.
Earlier this week the U.S. crossed the grim milestone of more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths. Harris, during her remarks, said Black Americans have been hit particularly hard by the health and economic consequences of the pandemic.
Harris said two out of every three African-Americans know someone who has been hospitalized with, or has died from COVID-19.
“Black women workers are being forced out of the workforce in record numbers, and so many Black small businesses are being forced to close their doors. In so many ways, this pandemic has been an accelerator and for those for whom things were bad before, they’re even worse now,” Harris said.
The House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion relief package called the American Rescue Plan early this morning.
The plan would pay for vaccines and medical supplies and send a new round of emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state and local governments. The bill’s big-ticket items include $1,400 direct payments to individuals, a $400-per-week federal unemployment benefit through Aug. 29, and help for those in difficulty paying rents and home mortgages during the pandemic.
(Production: Kia Johnson)