Monday, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order officially creating the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. The Michigan Chronicle previously reported Whitmer announcing plans to create a task force.
The newly signed executive order sheds more light on the specifics of the task force. It will investigate the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and suggest ways to:
- Increase transparency in reporting data regarding the racial and ethnic impact of COVID-19.
- Remove barriers to accessing physical and mental health care.
- Reduce the impact of medical bias in testing and treatment.
- Mitigate environmental and infrastructure factors contributing to increased exposure during pandemics resulting in mortality.
- Develop and improve systems for supporting long-term economic recovery and physical and mental health care following a pandemic.
“We know that generations of racial disparities and inequality has a detrimental impact on the lives of people across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, who is chairing the task force.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown this inequity to be particularly damaging, especially in the Black community, where the health of our friends and family has been disproportionately impacted. That’s why we are taking immediate action to assemble some of the greatest minds to tackle this racial injustice now and in the future.”
Among those great minds include:
- Denise Brooks-Williams, Henry Ford Health System North Market Senior Vice President & CEO
- Audrey E. Gregory, Detroit Medical Center CEO
- Curtis L. Ivery, Wayne County Community College District Chancellor
- Solomon Kinloch Jr., Triumph Church Senior Pastor
- M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University President
“Each of the task force members will provide a unique perspective and play a vital part in identifying these barriers and ensuring all Michiganders have equal access to critical resource when they need them most,” said Governor Whitmer.
The task force will continue its work until 90 days after the termination of the declared states of emergency and disaster.