Public Health and Racial Justice Concern with EPA Unilateral Directive for the Workforce in returning to Workplace
America has long had a pattern of discriminatory treatment towards racial minorities, and the US EPA is perpetuating the pattern by unilaterally forcing its workforce prematurely back into the office.. Now, with EPA's unilateral directive unnecessarily forcing all workers back into the physical offices, the health effect will not be equal for all workers. According to the APM Research Lab, African American deaths continue to be disproportionately high in the United States. According to the New York Times, African Americans account for 61% of virus-related fatalities in Chicago, even though they are less than one third of the population. Other BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) communities are also disproportionately highly represented in COVID infection and fatalities across the country. The deadly and disabling effects of this choice will not be borne by our workplace staff equally - it will disproportionately disrupt the families of our Black, Indigenous, and Latinx workforce. Therefore, we must take action and reject this racially discriminatory decision now.