White House: Virus deaths disproportionately hitting black Americans

Boston Statehouse

A patient adjusts his face mask as he leaves a COVID-19 vaccination site inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

BOSTON (SHNS) – President Biden was set to meet virtually Tuesday with a group of Black essential workers to thank them for their critical roles during the pandemic and to discuss how to encourage vaccinations.

The White House said Tuesday that while Black Americans comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, they represent nearly 24 percent of age-adjusted deaths from COVID-19.

Biden has been pressing for Congressional approval of his $1.9 trillion aid bill, which includes funding for frontline workers and $160 billion in supplies, testing, vaccinations, and a public health workforce tied to the COVID-19 fight.

The bill is expected to clear the House on Friday. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said some of the bill’s measures are misguided.

“The partisan bill Democrats are preparing is stuffed with non-COVID-related liberal goals and more band-aid policies as if the country were going to stay shut down another year,” he tweeted. “We need 2021 to be different than 2020. Congress should focus on smart policies to help that happen.”

Biden plans to travel to Houston on Friday to check on winter storm relief and recovery efforts and visit a COVID health center where vaccines are being distributed.

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