Judicial Watch, May 5, 2020
Dealing with a devastated economy and the worst unemployment crisis in history, the U.S. government is quietly spending $23 million on “culturally and linguistically diverse” COVID-19 outreach and education in racial and ethnic minority and disadvantaged communities. The goal is to develop a national and statewide network of public and community-based organizations that will help mitigate the virus’s disproportionate impact among that demographic, according to one of the recently published grant announcements. A separate allocation will revive an Obama-era program that gave leftist groups tens of millions of dollars to help poor, minority and indigenous communities attain “environmental justice.” Under that project the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reopen the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (SEJCA) to help “underserved communities” and “vulnerable populations” deal with COVID-19.
The biggest chunk of money, $22 million, will come from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which just launched a National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities. The agency’s Office of Minority Health (OMH) will dole out the cash to “community-based organizations” that are considered “trusted and usual information sources for racial and ethnic minority, rural and disadvantaged communities.” The organizations, most likely leftist groups, will use the taxpayer dollars to “disseminate effective response, recovery and resilience strategies and ensure service linkages for racial and ethnic minority, rural and disadvantaged communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.” This includes identifying areas with minority and disadvantaged people at substantially greater risk of contracting the virus and adverse outcomes due to prevalence of underlying health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and COPD/lung disease as well as structural and systemic barriers to physical distancing and challenges to accessing healthcare and social services. The money will flow for up to three years so the community groups can document and distribute “lessons learned” and other findings.