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‘Pandemics expose the fissures of society’: Rev. William Barber tells CNN why people of color are hurt most by COVID-19

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Rev. William Barber (MSNBC)

The Rev. William Barber told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a light on racial and economic inequality in the United States, as statistics are showing a disproportionate number of people of color are dying from the disease.

After citing statistics from New York City showing that COVID-19 is killing black and Latino residents at twice the rate it’s killing white residents, Camerota asked Barber to explain why he thinks the pandemic has been more lethal to communities of color.

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“Pandemics expose the fissures of our society,” he said. “They expose all of the things we haven’t fixed prior to the pandemic. So we had less health care, we had less wages in poor communities.”

Camerota then asked Barber what he thought of the $2 trillion stimulus package recently passed by Congress, and he warned that the money was not being distributed to help the people who need it the most.

“Corporations immediately got $1.5 trillion early and then $500 billion — think about that!” he said. “Two weeks earlier we couldn’t afford health care, couldn’t do living wages. Now we have people working on the front line, many low-income jobs, we say they’re ‘essential,’ not being treated like essential workers. Don’t have health care, paid sick leave. So what happens? People end up not going to get treated, they can’t stay home.”

Watch the video below.


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‘Beyond unconscionable’: Martin Luther King III tears into Bill Barr for comparing COVID lockdowns to slavery

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On CNN Thursday, Martin Luther King III excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his speech comparing COVID-19 lockdowns to slavery.

"This is beyond unconscionable," said King. "To even compare it to the most cruel institution in history, in modern history, slavery, for over 200 years, is unconscionable. It is very sad that that's where we are in this nation."

"But also, when you think about the fact that this administration basically does not acknowledge systematic racism, that everyone realizes, most people who see visually that it exists, this administrator, the president, has stood up in Charlottesville for those who really promote hatred," said King. "This administration decided to disable protesters, nonviolent protesters in front of the White House. And so when you think about all these things, most importantly, refuses to acknowledge and hold policemen accountable for behavior that becomes fatal for so many in the African-American community, not to mention the virus that seems to affect Blacks and Browns in a disproportionate level, and a lack of management."

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NAACP chief suggests Congress may need to impeach AG Bill Barr

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On CNN Thursday, NAACP president Derrick Johnson tore into Attorney General William Barr for urging sedition charges for Black Lives Matter protesters — and said Congress should look into impeaching him.

"As far as the Attorney General, I wonder if we should be looking at ways we could impeach him," said Johnson. "We should not, in this moment, politicize the democratic principles of allowing people to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully protest in the street. We should not politicize administration of elections to continue to represent the strongest democracy — emphasis democracy — in the world, we must open up access to voting, not politicize and try to sway the outcome of an election."

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Ex-Trump staffer says it’s only just beginning — more aides to the president will defect to back Biden

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On CNN Thursday, speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, former Trump Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor weighed in on the Biden endorsement from Vice President Mike Pence's national security aide Olivia Troye.

"I'll tell you this, this is an absolute bombshell," said Taylor, himself a supporter of Biden. "Olivia Troye was the lead staff member on the COVID-19 task force at the white house. Her testimonial is the clearest evidence yet that the president botched the response and cared more about his re-election effort than he did the lives of Americans ... no matter what the White House is saying, they always thought she was a top-tier staffer, that's why they kept her there for two years. This is truly damning for the White House."

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