EDITOR, Daily News:
On Sept. 16, 2021, the attorney general for Alaska joined attorneys general from 23 other states in a letter to President Biden threatening legal action against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The Alaska attorney general does not speak for all Alaskans. The Alaska Black Caucus strongly opposes his position since Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Alaska suffer the most from the COVID pandemic.
The attorneys general's letter is dated on the day Alaska reported a new daily record of 1,095 new COVID-19 infections. Alaska is experiencing one of the sharpest surges of the virus in the United States, more than double the national case rate. Alaska is now in the top five in the nation for new daily case rates and hospitalizations. JBER, the critical combined Army and Air Force Base outside Anchorage, has just declared a public health emergency to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Anchorage hospitals have started rationing care under crisis-care protocols as a result of this surge. In some cases, doctors and caregivers must decide which patients will get dialysis or mechanical support for breathing and which will not. This situation is cruel and intolerable for patients, families and caregivers alike.
COVID-19 has unequally affected racial and minority groups, putting them at greater risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. The Alaska Black Caucus supports any and all measures that protect not only the BIPOC population but all Alaskans. Our attorney general should as well.
CELESTE HODGE GROWDEN
President/CEO, Alaska Black Caucus