RI Legislative Black and Latino Caucus Seeks Prioritized Access to COVID-19 Vaccine for Communities of Color

 

STATE HOUSE – The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus is calling on Governor Raimondo and the COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee to prioritize access to the COVID-19 vaccine for Rhode Island’s communities of color and high-density populations which have been the state’s hardest-hit populations by the virus.

“As the data has revealed consistently since the beginning of the pandemic, Rhode Island’s community of color and those living in high-density settings have been the most affected by this deadly virus.  Whether we are speaking about the essential workers who have continued to serve the public, even at great risk to themselves or families, or individuals living in tight spaces where the opportunity to properly quarantine is impossible, we must protect these populations that are struggling immensely.  This will only be possible if the state’s community of color and those living in the most-affected areas are prioritized to receive this game-changing vaccine as soon as possible,” said Rep. Jean Philippe Barros, chairman of the caucus (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket).

The other members of the caucus are Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist 73, Newport, Middletown); Rep. Joseph S. Almeida (D-Dis. 12, Providence); Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket); Rep. Liana Cassar (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence); Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence); Rep. Joshua Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence); Rep. Mario F. Mendez (D-Dist. 13, Johnston, Providence); Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence); Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket); Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence); Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket); Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence); and Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence).

An outside panel of experts is recommending Johnson and Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine be approved by the FDA for emergency use. It is a traditional vaccine that only requires a single dose instead of two and does not need ultra-cold storage. It proved to be 85-percent effective in clinical trials at protecting people from severe sickness and is also cheaper and easier to manufacture.       President Biden and the First Lady are assessing the damage in Texas from last week's devastating cold snap. The Bidens visited a large food bank in Houston and stopped by an emergency operations center. Biden heard from local officials about massive power outages and serious problems with water supplies due to broken pipes.       Florida Senator Rick Scott is telling attendees at today's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida to stand up to Democrats. Scott said both impeachments of President Trump were nothing more than political vendettas and political theater. He gingerly acknowledged former President Trump isn't perfect and said he's not either.       A full classified briefing on the U.S. air strike in Syria will be given to lawmakers next week. President Biden ordered the attack on Iran-backed militia in the eastern part of the country following a series of rocket attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. The airstrike targeted facilities in Syria that are used by at least two Iranian-backed groups.        Canada is authorizing AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for use in adults. Health Canada approved two versions of the British-and-Swedish drugmaker's vaccine, one it worked on with Oxford University and the second made in India. It is the third vaccine approved for use in Canada, joining the ones made by Pfizer and Moderna.        Lady Gaga says her "heart is sick" after her dog walker was shot Wednesday night in Los Angeles and two of her dogs were stolen. The singer is opening up on social media and said she's praying her family will be whole again with an act of kindness. Gaga is offering up half-a-million-dollars for her dogs safe return, or if someone bought them unknowingly, the reward is the same.