Latino Communities Left Behind

When cancer survivor Blanca Quintero got COVID-19, her doctors in California weren’t answering her calls, The Washington Post reports.
She ended up seeking care 2 hours away—in Mexicali, Mexico.
Her story, all too common across the Eastern Coachella valley, is emblematic of a national failure. 

  • The COVID-19 death rate in Latino communities is at least double that for whites and Asian Americans.
  • The pandemic has eroded Latinos’ life expectancy by about 3 years during 2020.

Latinos in northern California’s Bay Area also suffered multiple oversights, according to The Mercury News

  • Testing: Majority Latino communities were consistently tested at low rates relative to risk
  • Shelter-in-place Orders: The needs of essential workers including many Latinos who live in crowded, multi-generational homes were ignored.
  • Contact Tracing: Insufficient numbers of Spanish-speaking tracers were deployed.

Worse Still: Just 12% of Bay Area Latinos, compared to 40% of whites, had gotten at least a first shot by early March. 

The Quote: “You get tired of jumping up and down and saying, ‘Look at us over here. Hello, we’re dying,’” says San Jose nonprofit leader Maritza Maldonado.

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