Latino Voices

Latino COVID-19 Concerns Missing From Presidential Debate


Latino COVID-19 Concerns Missing From Presidential Debate

The presidential debate Tuesday was contentious and chaotic, and while topics like COVID-19, health care, the economy and white supremacy were discussed, neither of the candidates directly spoke about how these issues affect the Latino community.

That omission that should matter to voters, says Irene Romulo, cofounder and editor of Cicero Independiente.

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“We can’t normalize the amount of mass death we are experiencing right now,” Romulo said. “We are losing entire generations of Black and Latinx community members to this disease. We need to address the racism that has led to this high number of preventable deaths. Even when people aren’t dying, they will have to deal with the consequences – the health implications, the emotional implications – of being devastated by this pandemic.”

Carlos Ballesteros, reporter for Injustice Watch, acknowledges that reining in President Donald Trump in a debate is a tall order. “Anyone trying to control Donald Trump without being able to turn off his microphone is going to have a hard time,” he said.

But he believes that moderator Chris Wallace did not press the candidates enough on tough questions.

“The one that comes to mind the most is when Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump about the New York Times report that found the president had paid $750 in personal federal income taxes in (2016) and 2017. Instead of asking him if that was the right thing to do or if we should fix our tax system so that doesn’t happen, Chris Wallace asked the president if the reporting was true, and, of course, Trump is going to say no,” Ballesteros said.

“As a journalist, that’s not the question you should be asking, because the reporting proves that it’s true,” he said. “Instead Chris Wallace let the president go on for two minutes about fake news. I hope the next moderator does a better job of pressing the president on those types of comments.”


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