Sup. Marcelia Nicholson
Press Release

Nicholson Calls for Respectful, Empowering Public Health Education Efforts


By - Mar 27th, 2020 04:57 pm

MILWAUKEE – In a statement released Friday, Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson called on public health officials and community leaders to rethink how they are communicating with Milwaukee residents of diverse backgrounds about the coronavirus.

“We need to acknowledge that like many other health issues, the coronavirus will likely have similarly disproportionate impacts on low-income people of color, and likely lead to worse health outcomes for these and other disadvantaged communities.

“Many people in Milwaukee are struggling right now to get accurate information about public health guidelines. Many of these people have less ability than others to prepare for and survive social distancing, not least of which is the need to maintain an income.

“We also know that people of color have less access to quality, affordable healthcare, and as a result, many people often cannot get care when they need it.

“Coronavirus cases aren’t higher in the central city and among African American men because these people are ignorant or make poor choices, they are higher because of systemic racism and because our public health infrastructure is failing to effectively communicate to people about this crisis.

“We already know there are disparities in health outcomes for low-income people of color, and that these disparities are often the result of structural and institutional racism. Last year, Milwaukee County declared racism a public health crisis for these reasons, and we’ve been working hard to dismantle the racism that exists within Milwaukee County.

“Instead of threatening people with police action, we need to acknowledge the barriers to successful public health outcomes.

“All levels of local government should be empowering people to make informed choices about their health and the health of our community through public education efforts that meet people where they’re at.”

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