DALLAS — The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) plans to focus on six priorities to ensure equality in the Latino community.
Wednesday LULAC hosted a virtual town hall on the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community.
LULAC President Domingo Garcia said that in Texas, particularly in Dallas Latinos have the highest number of cases of COVID-19 and African Americans are a close second.
“One of the things this pandemic has shown is an apartheid in our healthcare,” Garcia said.
According to the Dallas County Health Department, out of the 334 hospitalized COVID-19 cases, 37% are Hispanic, 29% are white, 35% are African Americans and 6% other, as of April 7.
Genoveva Ollervides O’Neill of Washington said this disease is cutting across all racial lines and in her clinic alone she has seen a decline of Latinos accessing healthcare for fear of the virus but also disinformation.
“We do know a few things (this virus) is affecting people that are considered essential personnel, but they are also the underpaid and unrepresented individuals,” said Dr. O’Neil.
Congressman Julian Castro noted that many Latinos are unable to work from home while others do not have social security numbers and will not benefit from a relief package.
“We are pushing the administration to dis-aggregate the data to have a clearer look of inequalities in the economy and healthcare,” Castro said.
In Texas, 61% of Hispanics are uninsured according to the Texas Medical Association.
Garcia outlined LULAC’s plan for combating the racial disparities in the government with six priorities: health, children and education, labor force, economic survival, detention centers and access to healthcare.
He has a scheduled meeting with the U.S. Surgeon General on Thursday.
Castro said that it is a monumental challenge for cities and the country we are facing unprecedented times. Ninety percent of Latino businesses are small/micro businesses and 2 out of every 4 Latino businesses will be impacted.
However, Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said the good news is that this is an election year and politicians are thinking of the votes.
“On the senate side we are reaching out to the cabinet members we don’t care what party they are with we are being loud and noisy we want to be at the table,” said Cavazos.