June 05, 2020

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Communities of Color from Coronavirus

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today joined Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in cosponsoring the Community Solutions for COVID-19 Act, which would provide funding to communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The bill would establish a $1.5 billion grant program over three years to help Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and other eligible organizations create and expand programs to improve health equity and reduce or eliminate inequities in the prevalence and health outcomes of COVID-19.

“We know that the coronavirus pandemic is sending Black, Latino, Native American, and additional communities of color to the hospital at higher rates than other groups. We need to protect these communities by getting them access to health care quickly and by reducing the factors that lead to disparities in the impact of coronavirus. This bill would shore up the constellation of Nevada organizations already working to improve health outcomes that are the result of deep structural inequalities. I continue to work in the Senate to increase health care resources for the most vulnerable people in the Silver State.”

BACKGROUND:

Data increasingly shows that communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to the inequity these communities face in the health care system and to the impact of social determinants of health. The Community Solutions for COVID-19 Act allows CBOs and similar organizations that have on-the-ground experience in reducing health disparities, as well as trust among the communities they serve, to combat the pandemic.

Under the Community Solutions for COVID-19 Act, CBOs and other eligible organizations could utilize grant funding for a range of purposes, including:

  • Acquiring and distributing medical supplies, like PPE, to communities that are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19;
  • Creating and disseminating culturally-informed, linguistically-appropriate, and medically-accurate outreach and education on COVID-19;
  • Addressing social determinants of health that impact COVID-19 prevalence and outcomes;
  • Helping individuals enroll in a health insurance plan that meets minimum essential coverage;
  • Providing anti-racism and bias training for health care providers and other professionals.

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