North Carolina Task Force to Address Racial Disparities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The state of North Carolina is launching a new task force to help address disparities in communities of color that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental and Health Equity Task Force will be lead by Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sander, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday.

"I want to be clear, there is nothing inherent to black or brown people that makes them more susceptible to severe COVID-19 illness The data should not be used to further racism or fear," Cooper said. "The disparity is because people of color have historically had less access to healthcare, housing, economic opportunity and more. This virus is exploiting those inequalities and it’s up to us to do something about it."

The task force will focus on five areas: access to health care; patient engagement in health care settings; economic opportunities in business development and employment; environmental justice and inclusion; and education.

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