The Politics of COVID-19 – Latino USA
COVID-19 has had devastating effects on the most vulnerable, highlighting huge inequalities for Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. Since the pandemic began in early 2020, Latinos and Latinas have faced disproportionately higher rates of infections and deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows that the risk of death for Latinos is 1.8 times higher than that of whites and the risk of hospitalization is 2.2 times higher, when age is adjusted. As a country, we are still trying to manage so many losses.
For Latinos and Latinas, the impact of COVID has been felt in many ways. Studies have shown that the majority of COVID-19 deaths in 2020 were among frontline workers in labor and service jobs, and that they are mostly low-wage, low-income Latino men who are most affected. These are the people who have helped keep this country running through its toughest times, often without adequate benefits, like paid sick leave or medical insurance.
The death rate was also higher for Latinos and Latinas under the age of 65, a statistic that medical expert Dr. Peter Hotez called the “historic decimation” of Latino communities in September 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about the 2020 presidential election – from how campaigns were conducted, to how voter outreach was conducted, to how people voted. As misinformation and disinformation became a pressing issue in Latin American communities, COVID was also a focal point, leading to the politicization of public health measures like masking and vaccines.
Now, in 2022, with the country fully reopening, we face other pressing issues: More than a dozen states will enact abortion restrictions following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Congress passed the first major federal gun safety legislation in nearly three decades amid a rise in mass shootings, and partisan debates over election integrity and schooling became the focus. central to some key primary races. So the question remains, what about COVID?
In this next episode of Latin United StatesFor the 2022 midterm coverage, Maria is joined by her In The Thick co-host Julio Ricardo Varela, EquisLabs co-founder Carlos Odio and award-winning journalist Tanzina Vega. They reflect on the past two years of the pandemic and, looking ahead to the midterms, talk about what we can expect from Latino and Latino voters.
Featured image credit AP Photo/Eduardo Muñoz Alvarez, File.