by Dina Kupfer

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Research shows the coronavirus outbreak has disproportionately impacted African American communities in some cities.

“There are real issues of trust between the African American community and the health care system,” California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris said last week.

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CBS News reported that in Chicago, black men and women are five times more likely to die from the virus than Caucasians.

But the numbers put out by the California Department of Public Health tell a different story in California. Of the 27,528 positive cases of coronavirus reported as of April 16th, 7% of those represent the black community, 13% Asian, 30% White, 39% Latino.

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Still, Pastor Les Simmons from Sacramento says disparities do exist here.

“A lot of times in our communities, there’s a lot of information and it doesn’t reach us in a way that says: This is what you should do in times like this,” Simmons said.

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He is joining activists and faith leaders across the country who are calling for more resources and protective gear to be dispersed in black and brown communities.

“We need to ensure there is access to treatment, access to test kits, in our communities in a resourceful way,” Simmons said.

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Pastor Simmons says leaders also need to ensure basic income for those who need support, and that no child goes hungry.

“There’s many food deserts in a lot of our communities right now. We have scaled up our efforts to do food distribution,” Simmons said.

Many of these disparities, Simmons says, are historically built into the system, but believes this could be a turning point for America.

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“This will be a scorecard right now to say how are we building cities? How are we building states? And we have an opportunity to really leaning a save lives here,” Simmons said.