Atlanta mayor orders report on COVID’s impact on minorities

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during an online update of the city on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during an online update of the city on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

Credit: City of Atlanta Twitter

Credit: City of Atlanta Twitter

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has asked for a report on disparities of COVID-19′s impact among racial and ethic minorities within the city.

In an administrative order issued Thursday, Bottoms directed her Chief Operating Officer, Joshua Williams, and Chief Health Officer, Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson, to convene an advisory council of community members to prepare the report and make recommendations to address the COVID risk factors in minority communities.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said data show that the global pandemic has disproportionately affected minority groups.

“Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19,” according to a statement on the CDC’s website.

Those inequities include a lack of access to healthcare and grocery stores with healthy foods, along with housing discrimination, according to the CDC.

“Systemic racism and healthcare inequities continue to ravage communities of color in what could be the most devastating public health crisis of our lifetime,” Bottoms said in a statement. “The color of one’s skin or zip code should not determine the state of your health or the length of your life.

“We are taking action to improve the well-being of all Atlantans and to ensure this form of racial injustice is a thing of the past.”

Bottoms’ order also directs the city to create a campaign to promote wearing masks to prevent COVID’s spread, and to schedule a series of virtual town halls to discuss COVID’s impact on minorities.

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