Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

Kamala Harris Hosts Exclusive In-Person Interview with The Courier

NNPA NEWSWIRE — For more than 100 years, Pittsburgh’s African American community has counted on The Courier to cover the most important stories that affect the Black community, and it was obvious that fact wasn’t lost on the vice president.
The post Kamala Harris Hosts Exclusive In-Person Interview with The Courier first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

Rob Taylor Jr. | Courier Staff Writer

Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, spent about 10 minutes on Tuesday, Feb. 20, speaking to a crowd of supporters at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty, adamant about replacing lead pipes in Pittsburgh, the state of Pennsylvania, and all around the country, in the fight for clean water, free of toxins.

To a hail of applause, Harris announced that $5.8 billion in funding, including more than $200 million specifically for Pennsylvania, was being allotted for clean water infrastructure from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement brought the total amount of clean water funding announced by the Environmental Protection Agency from President Biden’s Infrastructure Law to $22 billion. Overall, the Infrastructure Law will invest over $50 billion in total to upgrade America’s water infrastructure, the largest investment in clean water in American history.

But then, the U.S.’ first woman vice president, and first Black woman vice president, made her way to the second floor of the Kingsley Association building to speak exclusively with the New Pittsburgh Courier.

“Hello Mr. Doss, how are you?” Harris said. “It’s good to be with you.”

Rod Doss, the longtime executive editor and publisher of The Courier, greeted Harris and told her, “I’m staring at history. This is truly a moment for me.”

Vice president of the United States Kamala Harris, with New Pittsburgh Courier editor and publisher Rod Doss, left, and Courier managing editor Rob Taylor Jr. Harris held an in-person exclusive interview with The Courier on Feb. 20, 2024, at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty.

Vice president of the United States Kamala Harris, with New Pittsburgh Courier editor and publisher Rod Doss, left, and Courier managing editor Rob Taylor Jr. Harris held an in-person exclusive interview with The Courier on Feb. 20, 2024, at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty.

Harris told Doss that she was glad to have some time to talk, “because your paper, and what you do in terms of the voice that it represents, and a trusted voice, is so important.”

For more than 100 years, Pittsburgh’s African American community has counted on The Courier to cover the most important stories that affect the Black community, and it was obvious that fact wasn’t lost on the vice president.

No questions were out-of-bounds. No questions were shared with Harris beforehand. Courier managing editor Rob Taylor Jr., who was also part of the exclusive interview, told Harris she seemed passionate and driven to tackle the lead pipes and clean water issue head-on, particularly in Black communities.

“As I said earlier, lead pipes were standard for construction across the country, but then it became increasingly obvious that the water coming out of those lead pipes was toxic which results in health impacts, in terms of health well-being, but also learning impacts for children,” Harris told The Courier. “In communities where the resources were there, in homes where there was a homeownership or people (had) the resources, they can remove the lead pipes. But not in communities that didn’t have the extra, or didn’t have savings, or didn’t own their home and rented. What you ended up seeing is that while the lead pipes affected everyone, not so equally.”

Speaking specifically to the Infrastructure Law, officially signed into law by President Biden in November 2021, Harris said that the funding to fix sidewalks or replace lead pipes not only creates jobs, or in her words, “an economy around the upgrades,” but the “other piece of the lead pipes issue is absolutely about public health. It’s about the physical well-being, about the well-being of families and we have to take that seriously. And as I said earlier, government has a few specific responsibilities and one of them is to address the public health needs of the community. That’s how I think about the lead pipe issue; what do we need to do to get the resources into the community to take those lead pipes out, knowing it will benefit our children, it will benefit families and it will uplift communities.”

Doss then addressed the issue that has been permeating throughout the nation, brought more to light by a popular Black radio personality, Charlamagne Tha God. The radio personality said on Feb. 18 on ABC News’ “This Week” that he felt there was a general apathy from younger voters about either of the presidential candidates, Donald Trump or President Biden. Moreover, Charlamagne Tha God called President Biden “an uninspiring candidate.”

Doss pressed Harris on that perceived growing lack of enthusiasm from young voters as it relates to supporting the Democratic Party and the Biden/Harris ticket.

Harris prefaced her response by saying she hadn’t seen the Charlamagne Tha God interview on ABC News. But in general terms, “we are up for re-election, and any candidate up for election or re-election has to earn the votes, and I’m very, very clear about that. Which is why I’m here in Pittsburgh, which is why I’m traveling around the country to make sure that people know what we have accomplished in response to what they asked us to do in 2020, because people turned out in record numbers, young voters turned out in record numbers…and they said, ‘fix the lead pipes.’ They said in the Black community, ‘we are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, bring down the cost of insulin for our seniors,’ and we’ve now capped the cost of insulin at $35 dollars a month. Folks said deal with the fact that HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) are centers of academic excellence, but don’t necessarily have the kind of endowments that other universities do…we have now dedicated over $7 billion to HBCUs.”

Vice President Kamala Harris makes a stop in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood to witness lead pipe replacement at work, Feb. 20, 2024. (photo by Rob Taylor Jr.)

Vice President Kamala Harris makes a stop in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood to witness lead pipe replacement at work, Feb. 20, 2024. (photo by Rob Taylor Jr.)

Harris continued: “People said deal with Black unemployment; we now have the lowest Black unemployment in the history because of the work that we have done. That’s about building jobs and creating opportunities for not only employment, but for wealth building. People said deal with the fact that Black businesses don’t get federal contracts in the same way that other businesses do. We have made a pledge which we are on track now to achieving, increasing federal contracts by 50 percent to minority-owned businesses. So, this is some of the work that we have done, and it is incumbent on us in an election season to let people know that we heard them, we have delivered and therefore believe that we have earned a re-election.”

Harris is the first HBCU graduate to work in The White House as President or Vice President. Harris graduated from Howard University, in Washington, D.C., in 1986. And she and President Biden obviously want to continue working in The White House for another term, though the former President, Trump, is lurking. While he hasn’t officially been named the Republican nominee for president, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion barring a miracle from opponent Nikki Haley.

Harris told Doss and Taylor that she and President Biden have to do “the hard work” in reminding people about what they’ve done as President and Vice President. “On the one side, you got the former president who admires dictators, who openly has talked about his pride in taking away freedoms. On the other hand, you have our re-election in Joe Biden who has been a champion for what we need to do around equity, what we need to do around resources to com munity, around working people, around bringing down the cost of prescription drugs and taking on big pharmaceutical companies. So, the closer we get to the election, I think the more people are going to start tuning in to the fact that you’ve got one of two choices, and I think the biggest decision that people are going to make this election is, deciding what kind of country we want to live in.”

Vice President Kamala Harris takes a group photo with lead pipe replacement workers in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood, Feb. 20, 2024. Also pictured at far left is EPA Administrator Michael Regan. (photo by Rob Taylor Jr.)

Vice President Kamala Harris takes a group photo with lead pipe replacement workers in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood, Feb. 20, 2024. Also pictured at far left is EPA Administrator Michael Regan. (photo by Rob Taylor Jr.)

Taylor then reminded Harris that Pennsylvania is a “critical” state in this election season, as it seems to be in each presidential election.

“Allegheny County made all the difference,” Harris responded to Taylor and Doss. “The voters here turned out in record numbers and it is why I am Vice President of the United States as the first woman and the first Black woman. Why do I keep coming back to Allegheny County and coming back to Pittsburgh? First and foremost, it’s to thank everybody, because it is the people here who, in large part, did the work of helping to create history around this position, and so I’m here to thank folks and to remind them of their power and ask them to please, let’s do it again.”

The 10-minute interview concluded between Harris and The Courier representatives. Photos were then taken, and Harris was about to be whisked away to an on-site meeting with workers from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and other contractors as they removed a lead pipe from under the ground in the Elliott neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

But before she left the Kingsley Association, Taylor jokingly asked her one final question.

“The real H-U?”

Harris responded: “You know.”

The post Kamala Harris Hosts Exclusive In-Person Interview with The Courier first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#NNPA BlackPress

Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden

NNPA NEWSWIRE — President Joe Biden has successfully chartered the support of high-ranking Congress members with an endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. The group met with the leader virtually on Monday eager to learn more about a campaign comeback plan after turmoil sparked by the June 27 presidential debate.
The post Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By Ashleigh Fields

President Joe Biden has successfully chartered the support of high-ranking Congress members with an endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. The group met with the leader virtually on Monday eager to learn more about a campaign comeback plan after turmoil sparked by the June 27 presidential debate. Biden pleaded with members reportedly telling them, “’I need you. I want you to be fully engaged.” Later he added, “You’ve had my back and I’ve got yours.”

Biden took questions from the lawmakers who represent 120 million Americans combined reaffirming his zeal for a second term. “I will continue to stand with the president and the people who elected him to be our nominee. “He is the best candidate to be in this race,” Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) told the NNPA after the call describing his current term as “extraordinary.” The North Carolina representative’s support will be crucial to Biden as he continues to visit the battleground state. Many are looking to see if his performance in Raleigh after the debate and frequent visits to Wilmington will seal the deal for voters who formerly sided with Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The call with CBC members also served as a chance for the president to firm up his support in states like Nevada where he won by a slight margin in the last cycle. Horsford says his constituents are looking for the nation’s next leader to make decisions that are cost-effective and financially fruitful. “The voters in Nevada care about a thriving and equitable economy, taking on big corporations to lower costs and protecting the hard-bought freedoms, rights, and opportunities we’ve Earned,” Horsford posted on X the day after the meeting. “They’re focused on moving forward and reject the divisive politics of those who would like to take us back.”

The Biden-Harris ticket has boasted about reform that could uplift minority communities including tax credits for first-time home buyers and plans to remove medical debt from credit scores. Both proposals aim to ease the financial burden and stress that often prevents families from climbing the ladder of social/economic mobility. Throughout Vice President Kamala Harris’ economic freedom tour and publicized speeches from Biden the goal has always been to, “build from the middle out and the bottom up.” However, Trump has raked in support from a wide array of people because of his strong stance on immigration policy, promising to facilitate the largest deportation in American history if elected president. He believes illegal immigrants are dominating good-paying American jobs for lower wages driving the economy into distress.

“The fact is that his [Biden’s] big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come in through the border. They’re taking Black jobs now,” Trump said during the debate. “They’re taking Black jobs and they’re taking Hispanic jobs.” Despite these claims, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus which boasts 38 members officially endorsed Biden on July 9. Chair Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44) and Deputy Chair Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) subsequently released a statement to explain their reasoning. “President Biden and his Administration have worked closely with House Democrats to make historic investments to positively impact communities across the country, including Latinos, such as investments to combat climate change, lower healthcare costs, expand access to healthcare for our veterans, and create jobs with the infrastructure bill,” the two shared.

Although Biden has received the affirmation of many over the past few days, Reps. Mark Takano (D-CA-39), Adam Smith (D-WA-9), and Joe Morelle (D-NY-25) have been publicly adamant about Biden dropping out of the race. Others like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-11) have remained moderate and encouraged others to hold out fate until after Biden’s performance at NATO this week. “I want him to do whatever he decides to do. And that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides we go with,” Pelosi said on Morning Joe. “Let’s just hold off. Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week.”

The post Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Drug Used to Treat Diabetes Now a Weight Loss Miracle but Difficult to Obtain in Black and Brown Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE — In early 2022, Ozempic rose to fame when celebrities who do not suffer from diabetes began publicizing the drugs’ ability to assist in fast acting weight loss. It quickly went from a lifesaving medication for diabetics to the celebrity go to for shedding unwanted pounds. In 2021, in the US alone, prescriptions of the drug quadrupled landing the miracle drug on the worldwide shortage list creating rippling effects through many communities.
The post Drug Used to Treat Diabetes Now a Weight Loss Miracle but Difficult to Obtain in Black and Brown Communities first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By

Small pharmacies find difficulty in prescribing the drug due to Big Pharma restrictions

By Andre ‘M. Johnson

According to a recent study published in Lucent, the number of people living with diabetes worldwide is on pace to more than double in the next three decades. This increase will bring the total of worldwide diabetic patients to a staggering 1.3 billion by 2025, making diabetes one of the top 10 leading causes of death and disability, in the world.

On December 5th of 2017, a little-known drug hit the market to help millions of people suffering with diabetes. The drug was called Ozempic. Ozempic was created to lower blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin and has shown continual success in patients with lowering their A1-C. The introduction of medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy has changed the game for millions of people worldwide who have been struggling with diabetes. It was a once weekly auto injector that would allow patients to maintain their sugar levels and create a healthier way of life. One of its known side effects, however, was dramatic weight loss.

In early 2022, Ozempic rose to fame when celebrities who do not suffer from diabetes began publicizing the drugs’ ability to assist in fast acting weight loss. It quickly went from a lifesaving medication for diabetics to the celebrity go to for shedding unwanted pounds. In 2021, in the U.S. alone, prescriptions of the drug quadrupled landing the miracle drug on the worldwide shortage list creating rippling effects through many communities.

Valentine Paterson of Brooklyn, New York thought he had found a solution to his endless battle with obesity and diabetes when he was prescribed Ozempic. The effects were almost immediate and life altering. “I weighed more than 365 pounds and after being hospitalized for heart failure, my doctor recommended I take Ozempic,” said Paterson a 52-year-old Uber driver. “Within four months of taking the drug, I lost 65 pounds, and my doctor reduced my other medications from nine to four. It changed my life. But then I could not get my prescription filled. I looked for months; it was a nightmare. All the work and progress I was making was slipping away, all because I was unable to pay out of pocket.”

The reason Mr. Paterson could not get his prescription filled is because Mr. Paterson’s local pharmacy, like many others nationwide, was no longer able to obtain the blockbuster medication. The craze of Ozempic and Wegovy created a nationwide shortage of medication by those willing to pay the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs getting first cracks at the available supply. So, while pharmacies in lower income neighborhoods could not stock their shelves, pharmacies on Manhattan’s Upper Eastside had a twelve-month supply of the miracle drug readily available to those able to pay $1,400.00 per prescription. Given this void, the question was raised as to whether anyone or anything could help.

Enter the compounding pharmacy. According to the FDA, compounding pharmacies are authorized to produce exact drugs in times of a national shortage. But what exactly is a compounding pharmacy? A compounding pharmacy makes and sells prescription medicines based on the specific formula provided to it by the FDA. When a medicine makes its way to the national shortage list, compounding pharmacies are authorized to make generic versions of those medications to assist all those in need. When a medicine is not on the national shortage list, compounding pharmacies are only authorized to make alternate forms of the prescribed drug. Ozempic has been on both the worldwide and US shortage list since April of 2022. However, what happens when Big Pharma doesn’t want to let compounding pharmacies earn money they feel belongs to them even during a shortage?

“Lifeline Pharmacy” is a small compounding pharmacy run by Dr. Aisha Johnson in the heart of south Los Angeles. For years, this pharmacy has served as a beacon of hope, providing personalized care and essential medications to the predominantly Black and Latino residents. Among the most critical medications Dr. Johnson compounds is semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Black adults are nearly twice as likely as white adults to develop type 2 diabetes. This racial disparity has been rising over the last 30 years creating a disproportionate need for these life altering medications in communities of color. Despite the FDA’s approval for compounding pharmacies to produce semaglutide, Novo Nordisk has targeted these providers in order to protect their profits and eliminate the competition.

In the Ward 8 area of Washington, D.C., a heavily populated community of Black and Latino residents, the drug remains in high demand with little to no supply. “There is definitely a monopoly on it by Big Pharma,” said Dr. Damon Ricks, Pharmacy Manager at SIP. “Small Compounding Pharmacies are definitely within their rights and scope to create these drugs when the FDA declares a shortage.”

The impact of Big Pharma’s campaign is being felt in communities from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA. The misinformation spread by Novo Nordisk, stating that compounded versions of semagludies are unsafe and potentially life threating has created fear and uncertainty in those using compounded versions of the popular medication. Intensifying the problem, legislative proposals influenced by pharmaceutical lobbyists threatened to impose restrictions that would make it nearly impossible for small pharmacies to continue compounding semaglutide. For communities of color, this means losing a critical source of affordable and accessible medication.

“Big Pharma should not have a hold on these drugs. There needs to be a leveling of the playing field. I think having access to these drugs all across the board is needed. If a patient needs it for diabetes, then it should be made available to them. Prioritizing weight loss over diabetic patients is an injustice to our health care system,” said Ricks.

But Big Pharma continues to push for stricter regulations, claiming the need for patient safety. However, insufficient evidence exists to back up any of the claims made by Big Pharma. Compounding pharmacies must comply with existing rigorous standards to make any medication. They follow these standards in order to serve lower economic depressed communities of color. The popularity of these drugs has made it difficult for average Americans to afford or find these medications. These are not just weight loss medications; they are tools for survival for many diabetic patients. Due to Big Pharma’s bullying campaign, many patients have been forced to accept lower doses of these drugs to maintain any benefits even though most experience little to no progress with the reduced dosage. Yet those that truly need these lifesaving medications continue to suffer.

For communities of color, the ability of local compounding pharmacies to provide semaglutide and other essential medications is about more than access to treatment. They serve as a testament to the power of community and the relentless pursuit of a more just and equitable healthcare system.

The post Drug Used to Treat Diabetes Now a Weight Loss Miracle but Difficult to Obtain in Black and Brown Communities first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

About Those ‘Black Jobs’: Biden Administration Shows Better Record of Black Cabinet Leaders Than Trump

PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE — “The characterization of Black jobs by Donald Trump, who only had one Black person in his Cabinet, is not only demeaning to the African American community but a concerning issue from the perspective of the NAACP,” said NAACP Philadelphia Branch President Cathy Hicks in a statement Friday. “It is important to recognize that African Americans hold positions in every job industry and contribute significantly to the American workforce. Stereotyping and generalizing job roles based on race is not only inaccurate but also perpetuates harmful biases towards the African American community…”
The post About Those ‘Black Jobs’: Biden Administration Shows Better Record of Black Cabinet Leaders Than Trump first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Published

on

By

By Marco Cerino | Philadelphia Tribune Staff Writer

As former president and presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump attempts to court Black voters who feel disillusioned by President Joe Biden’s administration, it should be noted that Trump’s idea of “Black jobs” does not include high-ranking positions in his administration.

An analysis of the two main presidential candidates on the 2024 ballot shows a stark contrast in the makeup of their administrations.

The appointment of Gen. Charles Q. Brown to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff made him the ninth Black person in a high-ranking position under Biden, including Cabinet secretaries and those in Cabinet-level roles like United Nations ambassador, director of national intelligence and trade adviser.

Despite having 62 different names in appointed or acting roles, Trump only included one Black person in his administration at that level — Dr. Ben Carson served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

“The characterization of Black jobs by Donald Trump, who only had one Black person in his Cabinet, is not only demeaning to the African American community but a concerning issue from the perspective of the NAACP,” said NAACP Philadelphia Branch President Cathy Hicks in a statement Friday. “It is important to recognize that African Americans hold positions in every job industry and contribute significantly to the American workforce. Stereotyping and generalizing job roles based on race is not only inaccurate but also perpetuates harmful biases towards the African American community. It is essential to promote equality and fair treatment in the workplace, ensuring that all individuals have equal opportunities to succeed and thrive in their chosen careers. Trump cannot say he is the best for the Black community and Black vote, if he can only see us in marginalized positions.”

Biden appointed the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year when Brown assumed the role for a four-year term. The decision seems to reflect the prioritizing of diversity in the Biden administration among Cabinet members and senior staff, one of his many significant departures from his predecessor.

Nyron Crawford, an assistant professor of political science at Temple University, believes the “Black jobs” comments were mainly a political maneuver, aimed to create a wedge issue around immigrants.

The lone Black appointee, he said, does serve as a reminder of Trump’s combative history with the Black community, including his demands that the Central Park Five be sentenced harshly, concerns over a Black contestant winning season one of “The Apprentice,” and other callous comments and stances.

“Donald Trump has no real regard for African Americans,” Crawford told The Tribune in an interview Monday about Trump’s record. “It doesn’t really serve a purpose. It’s not backed by any policy. Biden has done well on [appointing Blacks to high-level positions], compared to predecessors.”

Historically, it has been a challenge to get Black faces and voices into Cabinet roles.

President Lyndon Johnson was the first to appoint a Black person to his Cabinet, naming Robert Weaver to lead HUD in 1966. Of the 25-total appointed in history, 18 have been under Democratic presidents, while seven have been selected by Republicans, including four under President George W. Bush.

The Clinton administration had the most African American Cabinet secretaries with seven overall, including four appointed when taking office in January 1993. The Obama administration had four Black Cabinet members at once, the most in history. Vice President Kamala Harris is the highest-ranking Black Cabinet member ever.

Historical firsts for Blacks in high-profile government roles usually come during Democratic administrations. Biden broke through another glass ceiling with his nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who joined the Supreme Court in September 2022 as the first Black female justice. Trump added three white justices to the bench, who have voted to support conservative decisions like the weakening of affirmative action, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and, most recently, granting immunity for “official acts” of a president.

“The temperament and tone of a presidential administration is set by its people,” political commentator Jay McCalla said in an interview Monday. “Trump’s Cabinet members were largely sycophants. Trump has been conspicuously against Black folks. Trump’s coalition wanted a certified mouthpiece for their right-wing blather, so they chose Ben Carson.”

Multiple calls for comments were made to Philadelphia Republican leaders and have gone unreturned at time of print.

mcerino@phillytrib.com 215-893-5700

The post About Those ‘Black Jobs’: Biden Administration Shows Better Record of Black Cabinet Leaders Than Trump first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending

Copyright ©2021 Post News Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.