Menendez urges Black, Latino communities to get vaccinated, not become ‘one of the statistics’

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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is urging Black and Latino communities to get vaccinated in order to not become “one of the statistics.”

“Make no mistake: our fight to end the pandemic is not over. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 580,000 of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, loved ones – thousands of Americans still continue to face the life and death issues every week as a result of the pandemic,” the senator said at the grand opening of the Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center in the North Ward of Newark today.

” … And as we all knew the suffering unleashed by the pandemic has been anything but fair: low-income families, minority communities, and other underserved populations bore the brunt of the pandemic and its economic fallout … We need to get vaccinated. Either we’ll be part of the solution or we’ll be one of the statistics. I’d rather us be part of the solution.”

Although the racial gap is shrinking, vaccination rates in the Latino and Black communities have been lagging since the rollout began.

Menendez noted that this is due to an array of issues including systemic poverty and distrust in government. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) joined other North Hudson leaders in calling on residents to get vaccinated.

Additionally, Menendez promoted the vaccine and its safeness by taking off his mask during the outdoor event, consistent with CDC and state guidelines, since he has been fully vaccinated.

Other prominent New Jersey Latino leaders in attendance who are fully vaccinated included State Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-29), as well as Newark Councilmen Luis Quintana and Anibal Ramos.

Menendez also pointed out that U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka have also been inoculated against the coronavirus.

Back in March, the state’s senior senator asked Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Hudson County which at the time was still last in rate per population and that request was answered about two weeks later.