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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Calls For Renewed Focus On Equity In Vaccine Distribution Following Select Subcommittee Briefing

February 20, 2021
Press Release

SCHAUMBURG, IL – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s briefing held by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on which he serves:

“Yesterday’s briefing served as a startling reminder of how far our country still has to go in ensuring equitable distribution of the coronavirus vaccines as communities of color, rural communities, and low-income communities have been disadvantaged in the early vaccine rollout despite having been among those hardest hit by the pandemic. Abigail Echo-Hawk, the Chief Research Officer at Seattle Indian Health Board and the Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute told us that last year, ‘before we got our PPE, instead what we got was a box of body bags.’

“Tragically, that is a clear metaphor for how many communities of color feel about much of the pandemic and the previous administration’s treatment and messaging to them. Overcoming vaccine hesitancy and ensuring effective, equitable distribution will only be possible when our response overcomes the skepticism of these communities to our government’s actions so far, and replaces it with a well-earned trust. That work will be difficult, but it’s essential. Achieving greater equity in our national vaccine distribution program is a fundamental question of fairness and justice, but also one of ultimately ending this pandemic in the face of its emerging strains. So long as COVID-19 is allowed to fester in any community, it remains a threat to every community.”