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The leaders are members of Faith in Action, a network of clergy and social activists who work towards reducing gun violence and mass incarceration, as well as expanding voting rights and health care.

The leaders recently sent a letter to all northeast governors outlining the steps they should be taking to make sure that all races in the region receive an equal amount of benefits to better defend themselves against the COVID-19 pandemic.

They cite reports that show that black residents are 3.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white residents across the northeast.

“Everything we know from public health professionals about containing and mitigating an epidemic says that our public response needs to be targeted to communities most at risk, and based on two-way communication,” the signatories write. “We urge you to follow science rather than politics and prejudice by speaking publicly about racial equity and directly engaging communities of color as full partners in the life and death decisions you are making.”

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