Epidemiologist on elevated COVID-19 rates in Latino community

Dr. David Michaels, professor of public health at George Washington University highlights the vulnerabilities and rising COVID-19 rates in the Latino population.
4:21 | 07/07/20

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Transcript for Epidemiologist on elevated COVID-19 rates in Latino community
We know some of the largest disparities on the novel corona virus have involved race and ethnicity but with cities reopening across the country. Those impacts continue to highlight the vulnerabilities of communities of color and joining us now to talk more about this is at the genealogy is and professor of public health The George Washington University. Doctor David Michaels doctor Michaels thank you so much for being with us and I know you tweeted recently that the media is focusing. Too much on young people going to bars and not enough on the rising Colvin Reid specific to the Latino population. Quito little bit about why that disparity exists and continues to exist. Good afternoon and thanks for asking me on the show but young white party goers who were only part of the problem. But the reality is from the beginning of this epidemic it's been driven by exposure to black and brown people a lot of which are occurring at work. Of the New York Times just published an analysis. Of Covert by race since the analysis the government should looked on but of course didn't do. And what the times found was that up across the country Covert risk among lets Linux people is more than three times higher than whites. And among blacks more than twice as high as whites. If you look at working age people know each for did it took 59 for example. Among reckless people it's hard times the rate of points. To what's going on here. No he's a front line workers they're not able to stay at home look like many of us. You have to going to work every day they were going to be factories on farms in grocery stores nursing homes. Driving buses. They're making sure that we have food on our table they're taking concurrent or senior citizens. Only it'll come. To put food on their tables they can't afford this or low paying jobs that you can't afford to stay home. Your doctor Jiang talked about so legislation are sick they can't do that they they need to make an income and no one's paying them to stay home there. Post. You have gone on to say that masks are yes important but that we need more standards requiring as you're talking about these workplaces safe workplaces. You're the former head of OSHA what types of standards would you like to see in place to protect these workers. You the secretary of labor Eugene Scalia has said OSHA has all the tools that they need and we don't need to do anything more. But they're not really doing anything real the agency and the CDC have both issued recommendations. And recommendations are applying in different industries but we have 30000. Meat factory workers who got infected already. It's clear proof that recommendations suggest tombs are not. We need to rule that says. Importers how to protect workers have got to get the right personal protective equipment. Look we know that they're gonna have to get some help from the government whose we have a shortage of mass court now all. And this is another area but the government has to step ultimately. And use all of its resources to make sure that. Industries producing. Respirator is. Gloves gowns all the things that are needed nursing homes and apartments. In a cell would run operations every sort of workplace workers are getting what they need. I know our studio right here in Times Square you were brought in to help develop. What you believe more than necessary steps to re open Broadway after the shots and we cannot last big Broadway will be closed. Through the end of the year if you talk more about what went into that decision. Sure you know the live performance industry has had been hit very hard by this virus. Euros inherently dangerous no doubly so because of Covert nineteen. You'll think about the challenges our teacher handle who's the president actors' equity union. The union on helping out points out that there may be viewed only industry work it's not only legal but Kobe expected freely kiss your coworker as part of the job. Think about the audience of streaming into the murders were physical distance it's just not going to be easy. So until we control the epidemic in the entire part of the country you can't reopen the pilgrims. Now I know it is it is sad but necessary doctor David Michaels we really appreciate you. Joining us today and appreciate you taking the time but all of your expertise. Well thanks for having William.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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