As with many things, the pandemic has revealed preexisting cracks in our healthcare system, which is failing Black, Latinx, and Native communities, who are disproportionately vulnerable to the virus.
Today on the show, Allen is joined by Dr. Howard Ehrman and Paul Siegel of the People’s Response Network in Chicago to talk about community-based responses to public health and safety during the pandemic.
Among other things, they discuss the Chicago Teachers Union’s response to school reopenings in the fall, the failings of state leadership during the pandemic, public health austerity since the 1980s, grassroots organizing around COVID-19, and the urgent need for a radical healthcare system restructuring and Medicare for All.
Howard Erhman is an assistant professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and a founder of the People’s Response Network. Previously, he worked as the emergency response coordinator at the Chicago Department of Health.
Paul Siegel is a community and labor activist based in Chicago’s northside. He is the former director of the Chicago Area Black Lung Association and a member of the People’s Response Network.