Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) Monday was named to the Governor’s Minority Health Strike Force, which will bring together state and local officials, public health advocates and community leaders to address health disparities among Ohio minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“While I appreciate the creation of this Strike Force, the fact remains that House Democrats called on the governor to address health disparities impacting black families for weeks. I’m glad this important work will start soon but remain concerned about the damage inaction has caused,” said Leader Sykes.
“Moving forward, it is my hope that the governor and his team listens to the recommendations from this group and acts swiftly to direct critical resources to expand care and save lives in minority communities—especially with the risk of a second wave of infection if the necessary safeguards are not in place before the state’s reopening May 1.”
House Democratic lawmakers called on the governor to consider racial disparities in the state’s ongoing response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that black Ohioans account for 21 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases, despite making up only 14 percent of the state’s population.