The Black Institute, Masks for the People, and the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance met at the House of the Lord Church in Downtown Brooklyn to announce their efforts.
They delivered the face coverings to dialysis clinics across the city, which more than 50,000 patients depend on everyday for treatment. The organizations noted dialysis patients are often elderly and suffer from underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.
“I’ve seen these clinics firsthand, and witnessed the concerns that staff there have for themselves and for their patients,” said Bertha Lewis, founder and president of The Black Institute. “This distribution is important to make sure patients and staff don’t get sick, but we also need the government to step up, recognize the racial disparity, prioritize this population and fix this problem immediately.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that as the city responds to the next phase of COVID-19, a great emphasis must be given to New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions.
“Citizens on kidney dialysis machines are one of the most important groups to give resources to,” he said.
Assemblyman Walter Mosley, who joined the organizations last week, said the pandemic has shown the racial disparity that exists in health care treatment.
“We need to stand together to demand that our communities get the funding they deserve to protect patients and staff,” he said.
“Unfortunately, many of our communities have been left to struggle, and don’t have access to critical supplies,” added Councilman Robert Cornegy. “Today’s distribution is a way to make up for that, but I will continue to fight to ensure that supplies are allocated fairly and our dialysis centers are not forgotten.”