On February 1st, Senator Sal DiDomenico testified before the Commonwealth’s Health Equity Task Force regarding health disparities that underserved and underrepresented communities disproportionately experience in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator DiDomenico represents one of the hardest-hit districts in Massachusetts, and throughout this pandemic, his Senate office has centered the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents and worked to address the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
“COVID-19 has offered us tangible and concrete representation of health inequities that have been in existence in Massachusetts for many years but have now been exponentially worsened due to the public health crisis,” said DiDomenico. “Data has clearly illuminated what we have already known—infection rates are highest and most disproportionate in traditionally underserved communities, like those I represent. If we are to comprehensively and holistically solve the health-related inequities in our state, it is my recommendation that we first ensure the stability of the most fundamental necessities of our residents.”
During the virtual Task Force hearing, Senator DiDomenico highlighted policy priorities that he continues to champion in the Legislature; issues that have a direct impact on public health outcomes for Massachusetts residents. These priorities include:
•the disproportionate impact of COVID on environmental justice communities and the need further enfranchise these populations;
•the growing necessity of housing stability during the pandemic and the increased need for a right to counsel in housing court;
•the need to provide financial assistance to those living in deep poverty– i.e., those living below half the federal poverty line; and
•the need to provide comprehensive medical coverage and care to immigrant children living with disabilities.
Senator DiDomenico has filed corresponding legislation to address all of these issue areas and respectfully urged the Task Force to consider these policy priorities in their upcoming recommendations. “Both Dr. Assaad Sayah and Michael Curry have been longtime public health champions in our communities, and as chairs of the Health Equity Task Force, I have no doubt that they will continue to shed light on how on we can further support our most vulnerable populations. I am deeply grateful for their efforts, as well as their invitation to testify on the experiences that my constituents are acutely experiencing throughout this pandemic.”