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A widely impactful public health crisis is upon us. The tentacles of its impact are many and pervasive, from social, to economic, to environmental implications. As a civil rights organization and as stewards of human rights, this outbreak calls on us to maintain vigilance and lift our voices to demand the policies and practices that will preserve the wellbeing of all. Already we’ve seen many equity and justice challenges that must be addressed before they worsen and cause further damage. We must recognize and stand up against racial/ethnic discrimination and stereotyping. Our federal, state and local governments must ensure necessary policies and practices are in place, so that needed information, training, resources, and care are available equitably and reach all people in all communities. As we think about the upcoming Census and elections, the novel coronavirus pandemic underscores the ongoing need to push for affordable, quality health care coverage ; a well- trained, diverse health care and medical research workforce; and accessible sources of care (hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers) for all.
At this same time, even as we advance changes in response to what’s before us now, we must examine the systemic inequities that have exacerbated impact and ensure that we begin to enact transformational societal shifts to address the root causes of vulnerabilities and systems failure.