A major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on the public's attitude toward and reception of the guidance and advice of public health experts and government leaders. We would like to expand this discussion to critical issues of health justice and deepening racial disparities that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis and its deadly toll among communities of color, and the ongoing social and psychological trauma that has been exacerbated by recent police killings. These issues raise questions about structural inclusion and exclusion that affect the ways that communities put their trust in leaders during a pandemic, and the vision of reform that we seek going forward.
Jeffrion Aubry, Assembly member for the 35th district in Queens and New York State Speaker Pro Tempore, New York State Assembly
Saeeda L. Dunston, Executive Director at Elmcor Youth and Services Activities, Inc.
Jessica Ramos, New York State Senator for the 13th district in Queens and Chair of Committee on Labor
Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director at Chhaya Community Development Corporation
Samuel Kelton Roberts, Associate Professor of History, Sociomedical Sciences, and African-American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University