Newswire: ‘Through the Roof’ prescription drug prices hit communities of color the hardest

Pharmacist Leonard L. Edloe

By Hazel Trice Edney

TriceEdneyWire.com) – Seventy-three-year-old Leonard L. Edloe, a pharmacist of 50 years and pastor of a predominately Black church in Middlesex County, Va., knows the personal and professional sides of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes well. He also knows the astronomical costs of prescription medications and the related financial struggles.
His father—also named Leonard L. Edloe—opened the first of their four family-owned pharmacies in 1948. But he was only 65 when he came home from work one day, sat down, had a sandwich and a beer and then died of a massive heart attack. It was a major emotional blow to lose his father and mentor that way. But then Edloe’s sister died at 60 and his brother at 54 – also both of heart attacks.
“I had to get out,” he said sternly, reflecting on his now determined self-care through exercise and healthy eating. “I’m 73 now.”
For decades, Edloe has been a prominent household family name in Richmond, Va. where his father’s first pharmacy was established. Since his family was upper middle class, he acknowledged they had no problem paying for prescription medication.  But given his father’s legacy and his own community service through his profession and dedication to help people in need, he is known for being on the cutting edge of the struggle to establish health equity. That includes exploring ways to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible to all.
“The pricing has gone through the roof,” he said in an interview. “I mean, insulin – a month’s supply for some people – is $600.” That’s $7,200 a year. “Even the generic pricing has gone up,” he points out. “That has become worse because so many of the drugs are imported. Seventy-five percent of the drugs in the United States have an ingredient that’s made in China, India or Germany.”
Edloe explained that “Because there’s no control over pricing in the United States, they can basically charge what they want to; whereas in other countries, the government decides.”
As a former long-time member of Medicaid HMO Virginia Premier Health Plan’s board – Edloe pointed out that the drug used to treat Hepatitis C costs $1,000 a pill. But in Egypt, it is $1 a pill.
Edloe has expressed these concerns vehemently over the years in various leadership roles, including as chair of the Virginia Heart Association for the Mid-Atlantic Region; president of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, and board member of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems Authority.
“My blood pressure medicine for myself has tripled in price. I was paying $15 for three months. Now it’s $45,” he said. “Fortunately, that’s with my insurance.”
For people who lack health insurance, medicine for hypertension can cost upwards of $300-$600 a year, which, can be difficult to manage financially along with paying for other medications and bills. “So, it’s real serious,” Edloe concluded.
Community health workers point to problems in poor communities
Community health workers and researchers around the country have long recognized the increasing costs of prescription drugs and the difficult choices some people must make to afford them.
An article in Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, titled, “Millions of Adults Skip Medications Due to Their High Costs” highlights findings from a national survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics:
• Eight percent of adult Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed because they can not afford them.
• Among adults under 65, sixpercent who had private insurance still skipped medicines to save money.
• 10 percent of people who rely on Medicaid skipped their medicines.
• Of those who are not insured, 14 percent skipped their medications because of cost.
• Among the nation’s poorest adults— those with incomes well below the federal poverty level — nearly 14 percent “did not take medications as prescribed to save money.” 
Those statistics get even worse when exploring prescription drug affordability in the Black community. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institute of Health, “Elderly black Medicare beneficiaries are more than twice as likely as white beneficiaries to not have supplemental insurance and to not fill prescriptions because they cannot afford them.”
Likewise, an AARP survey of 1,218 African-American voters last year found more than three in five (62 percent) said “prices of prescription drugs are unreasonable” and nearly half (46 percent) said they did not fill a prescription provided by their doctor, mainly because of cost.
The inability to pay for prescription drugs – even for those under the age of 65 – has significantly impacted Blacks, Latinos and other people of color due to economic disparities.
“Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the number of uninsured Americans, over 28 million remain without insurance,” says PublicHealthPost.org. “More than half (55%) of uninsured Americans under the age of 65 are people of color. For those with no insurance, paying retail prices for medications is often financially impossible.”
This is no secret to those who have been working in the trenches on critical health care issues daily for years.
Ruth Perot, executive director/CEO of the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. (SHIRE), serves the 92 percent Black and largely low-income families of Washington, D.C.’s 6th, 7th and 8th Wards. She has been working on grassroots health equity isuses in communities of color for more than 23 years.
“I am certainly aware of the extent to which folks have to, of course make that choice between the cost of a prescription and the other commitments that they have, whether it’s rent or whether it’s food on the table or something related to the education for their children,” Perot said. “The cost of prescription drugs has always been out of control. It’s been a major profit-motive driven industry. That’s been true for some time. And so, whatever we see at the national level from a policy perspective still hasn’t addressed the fundamental issue that the drug prescriptions cost too much…I don’t think the federal government has ever used its power as the principle buyer of drugs to get those prices down. So, it’s been a persistent problem for many, many, many years if not decades.”
Edloe, having owned pharmacies in predominately Black communities, vehemently agrees. In addition to his medical career, he also interfaces with the community as pastor of the New Hope Fellowship Church in Hartfield, Va. As he personally works to avoid his family’s history with heart disease, he passes along health lessons to his congregation, and is intimately familiar with their struggles to pay for prescription drugs. Currently working with two groups involving health disparities and pharmaceuticals, he says he believes the answer to achieve equity will ultimately be “some form of universal health care.”
But, there must also be a culture change, he said. “Because a lot of health care providers still are not trained and the materials are still not designed for diverse communities. So it’s all about getting equity – not equality – but equity in health care. Because there’s a big difference. If everybody stands beside the fence and the fence is six feet and you’re 6 feet 5 inches tall, you can see over it, but other people can’t. Equity means you might have to give them a stool to see.”
This article is part of a series on the impact of high prescription drug costs on consumers made possible through the 2020 West Health and Families USA Media Fellowship.
 

Newswire : Police pepper spay Black Lives Matter protestors in North Carolina

by Cedric ‘BIG CED’ Thornton, Black Enterprise News Service


Alamance Co. police pepper spay demonstrators


Over the weekend, in Graham, North Carolina, a Black Lives Matter rally was broken up by police officers who then attacked the crowd of protesters using pepper spray, according to CNN.
The “I Am Change” march was intended to be a “march to the polls” in honor of the Black people who fell victim to racialized violence like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin, according to an advertisement for the event. However, the Graham Police Department says people were pepper-sprayed in two instances. The first time occurred after marchers refused to move out of the road following a moment of silence, and then again after an officer was allegedly “assaulted” and the event was deemed “unsafe and unlawful by the police department.”
At a press conference, the march organizer, the Rev. Gregory Drumwright, said, “I and our organization, marchers, demonstrators and potential voters left here sunken, sad, traumatized, obstructed and distracted from our intention to lead people all the way to the polls.”
The Graham Police Department arrested eight people for resisting delay and obstruction, failure to disperse, and assault on a law enforcement officer. Scott Huffman, who is running for Congress, released a video clip describing the incident on his Twitter account.
The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said that arrests were made at the demonstration, citing “violations of the permit” Drumwright obtained to hold the rally.
 Mr. Drumwright chose not to abide by the agreed upon rules,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Saturday. “As a result, after violations of the permit, along with disorderly conduct by participants leading to arrests, the protest was deemed an unlawful assembly and participants were asked to leave.”
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the non-violent demonstrators, as part of a continuing voting rigjts battle with Alamance, North Carolina authorities.

Newswire : As Trump cries ‘fraud’, Black faith leaders and activists take non-violent stance against election theft

Biden on TV

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – With a nail biter presidential race too close to call by midnight Nov. 3, America awaits on edge for final states to complete their vote counts. Some are early votes so numerous that they take time to count. Others are mail-in ballots allowed largely due to voters using absentee options or state-sanctioned options to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Yet, President Donald Trump, claiming he won the election and alleging fraud with no evidence, has announced he will ask the U. S. Supreme Court to stop all vote counts. Trump made his announcement around 2:15 am Wednesday following a statement by Vice President Joe Biden.
“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said from the White House. “This is a major fraud on our nation…We will be going to the U. S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”
Biden had earlier stated in Wilmington, Delaware, “I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to winning this election…We knew because of the unprecedented mail-in vote and the early vote that it was going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished and it ain’t over until every vote is counted.”
At Trice Edney Newswire deadline, Biden led the race with 224 to Trump’s 213 electoral votes with literally millions more votes to count in five states – Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency.
The threat of election theft by Trump is – in part – the reason that a group of Black faith leaders and activists have called for “nonviolent resistance and economic non-cooperation, including a general strike, if trump tries to steal” the election.
In a statement headlined, “We The People Will Defend the Vote and Uphold Democracy:  A Call to Nonviolent Resistance from Black Faith Leaders and Allies,” approximately 100 faith leaders and their activist allies essentially said that they will organize and demonstrate to maintain a free and fair election.
“In a pandemic, the large number of Americans demonstrating with conscience and voting with conviction is a sacred testament to an even larger sacrificial commitment to nonviolence,” says Rev. Cornell William Brooks, former NAACP president and currently professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. “We will honor this commitment by nonviolently opposing and overcoming any effort to undermine our elections.  So many Americans have sacrificed so much for any of us to do anything less.”
With races so close and with Trump casting doubt on the integrity of the election even days before Nov. 3, it has long been feared by political observers that he could try to cheat to win.
“We must not let Trump steal the election. If he attempts to stop votes from being counted or refuses to accept a legitimate victory for Biden, we will not sit by. We will use the power of massive nonviolent resistance that won our people the sacred right to vote to defend the sacred result of our votes today,” said Rev. Erica Williams, founder of Set It Off Ministries. “We as clergy must stand in this moment to be Prophets of God and not chaplains of the empire. We come boldly in the spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Josephine Baker who fought tirelessly for voting rights.”
Alarm intensified among the electorate when Trump told the far right leaning Proud Boys, a group that associates with White supremacists, to “stand back and stand by”. This was during the Sept. 29 presidential debate in response to a request for him to denounce White supremacist groups.
But then concerns intensified after several voter intimidation and rogue incidents were reported leading into Election Day and even as voters headed to the polls. Police and FBI are involved in the investigation of some of the situations. They include:
• A group of Trump supporters surrounded a Joe Biden campaign bus on Austin, Texas’ Interstate 35, appearing to try to run it off the road. Police intervened and escorted the bus to safety. In response, Trump tweeted, “I LOVE TEXAS!” along with a video on the incident and said later, “These patriots did nothing wrong”.
• A federal lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina, claiming voter intimidation, after police there deployed pepper spray during a pre-election day get-out-the vote rally and arrested several people amidst the chaos.
• Voters across the country reportedly received an estimated 10 million spam calls or texts telling them to “stay safe and stay home.”
Meanwhile, major department stores in cities across the nation were busy boarding up buildings, strengthening security and taking other protective measures this week in anticipation of possible unrest resulting from election outcomes.
According to the statement from the clergy and activists, “The Call to Nonviolent Resistance’s appeal for economic noncooperation — including the rare escalation of a general strike — comes on the heels of resolutions by the Rochester, New York AFL-CIO, King County, Washington labor council, and other labor coalitions who have called for a general strike if Trump attempts to steal the election, adding growing moral weight and national credibility to those preparations.”
Rev. Stephen A. Green, chair, Faith for Black Lives, concludes in the statement: “This unprecedented moment requires our commitment to radical love in action through nonviolence to defend the vote. Our faith motivates us to lead the nation with moral resistance in order to uphold democracy and resist any attempt from President Trump to undermine our election, said “We are building a movement to build beloved community through mass action.”
The call asks people to join faith and civic leaders in signing a pledge “to join nonviolent resistance and economic noncooperation if necessary to defend the vote and uphold democracy in response to an attempted coup by Trump.”
 

Breaking News: Latasha Johnson charged by Grand Jury with using her position as a Eutaw City Council member for personal gain; her attorney says she is innocent

Latasha Johnson

The Circuit Court Grand Jury for Greene County issued charges against Mayor elect, Latasha Johnson, for a September 30, 2019 incident. The charges were signed by Gregory S. Griggers District Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit.

She is charged with using her position as a Eutaw City Council member, “To obtain personal gain for herself, to wit: instructed Tyler Sellers not to tow her automobile, after identifying herself as a Eutaw City Councilwoman and informing Tyler Sellers that if he towed her vehicle that it would cause problems for him with the Eutaw City Council, which resulted in a personal gain for the said Latasha Johnson in the amount of $100, in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) and Section 36-25-27(a)(1) of the Code of Alabama, against the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama.”

Count II of the indictment accuses Johnson of “making a false statement” to Brian Barker, an investigator with the Alabama Ethics
Commission, on or about May 26, 2020, concerning her knowledge of Tyler Sellers and his family, which allowed Johnson to take possession of her vehicle, rather than allow Sellers to tow it.

Latasha Johnson was arrested on October 27, 2020 and brought to the Greene County Jail. She was released on a $10,000 bond the same day.

Attorney Hank Sanders of Selma, who represents Johnson said, “My client is innocent.  She will have her day in court and will be able to prove her innocence.  She will continue to go about her work duties and her mayoral duties.  This has come as a complete surprise just days after her election as Mayor of Eutaw and before she could take office.”

Latasha Johnson was elected Mayor of Eutaw in the Runoff Municipal Elections of October 6, 2020 by a vote of 718 (57.7%) to 526 (42.3%) for incumbent Mayor Raymond Steele. She and the newly elected City Council members plan to take office in a ceremony scheduled for Noon on Monday, November 2, 2020 at the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square.

Chief Derick Coleman Retiring

Notice
Retiring Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman
will be recognized for his work
at a program scheduled for
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 12:00 noon
on the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square
in Eutaw, sponsored by the
Greene County First Responders
Support Group

COVID-19

As of October 28, 2020 at 11:10 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 187,706 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(13,178 more than last week) with 2,911 deaths (106 more than last week)
Greene County had 436 confirmed cases,
(7 more cases than last week),
with 16 deaths
Sumter Co. had 477 cases with 21 deaths
Hale Co. had 780 cases with 30 deaths

ADEM holds Public Hearing in Eutaw on permit to cap coal ash pond at Alabama Power Steamplant in Forkland

Phillis Belcher of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority addresses ADEM at the October 22, 2020 meeting.

By: John Zippert,
Co-Publisher

On October 22, 2020, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) held a public hearing on permitting the closure, treatment and management of a coal ash pond, at the Alabama Power Company Steamplant in Forkland, which adjoins the Black Warrior River.
Alabama Power Company has submitted a plan to ADEM to treat the current open coal ash pond at its Steamplant, reduce its size from over 559 acres to 268 acres, by pulling out water and concentrating the ash residue, place a thirty foot deep, two foot wide wall, around the pond anchored to its chalk material base, place a plastic cap on the pond and continue to monitor 30 wells on the perimeter of the pond for contamination.

 Alabama Power Company stopped using coal as a fuel at its Forkland electricity generating facility about five years ago. The facility now uses natural gas to fuel its turbines. The company has a residue of coal ash stored in a 500 acre pond near the Black Warrior River. The EPA has required plants like the Forkland Steamplant to come up with a plan to deal with its coal ash residues, to prevent contamination of the nearby river or subterrain water sources.

A permit to treat, concentrate and cap the coal ash residues has been presented to ADEM by Alabama Power Company. The company did not present an alternative plan of excavating the coal ash and moving it to an inland secure landfill. The ADEM Public Hearing in Eutaw, at Carver School gymnasium, last week, was to solicit public comment on the permit application.
Most of the witnesses testified in support of the Alabama Power Company’s plan and permit, including: Woody Collins, Mayor-elect of Demopolis, Jason Williams, Marengo County Commission, Seth Hammett, Energy Institute of Alabama, Chris Arnold, Alabama Coal Cooperative, Blake Hartwick, Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association, Jo Ellen Martin, Marengo County Development Authority and Phillis Belcher, Greene County Industrial Development Authority.
These witnesses basically said they agreed with Alabama Power’s permitting application, which they felt to be economically and environmentally sound. Most extolled their positive “community relationship and communications” with the company.
Residents of the area testified and questioned the safety of the project. John Jay and his wife said they had a camphouse south of the plant and that the area frequent floods and materials are discharged into the river. They warned of earthquakes in the area and said that the plant was adversely affecting overflowing wells on their property. Ms. Shamicka Gray of Forkland worried that the project would contaminate the water system which was the only source of water for her and her elderly mother.
Keith Johnston, Director of the Alabama Office of the Southern Environmental Law Center in Birmingham opposed the permit saying it does not satisfy requirements in Federal and state requirements. He argued that Alabama Power Company created this problem itself by disposing of the coal ash wastes in the easiest possible place that allowed leakage and contamination of the adjacent river.
Johnston observed that electric generating companies in other Southern states: Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and coastal Carolinas were disposing of their similar coal ash wastes by excavating them and moving them to safer lined landfills away from wetlands, rivers and water sources.
He indicated that contaminants like arsenic, boron, calcium, chloride, cobalt, lithium and other substances were leaking from the ash pond into groundwater sources. He asked the ADEM officials, “Would you ever permit a permanent, unlined, waste disposal site on a wetland like this one, close to a river? So why are you going to permit one without a long-term maintenance plan for the Forkland, Alabama area.
Nelson Brooks with Black Warrior Waterkeepers, an environmental watch-dog group that monitors the river flowing by the plant site said he did not support the permit. He said the Forkland Steamplant was built in the 1950’s on a wetland in a bow of the Black Warrior River. The land under the coal ash pond has many streams and tributaries flowing under it.
Brooks argued that the site was not suitable for a coal ash containment pond and that the materials should be excavated and moved to a safer location. “It may cost more to do this now, than cap the pond, but there will be great costs in the future if the plan fails and contaminants leak into the river and adjacent steams.” Brooks concluded by saying,” It is improper to permit this coal ash pond because it is too close to the Black Warrior River. ADEM and Alabama Power Company should reconsider this plan.”
At the end of the public hearing, Collin Sibley, ADEM Hearing Officer said the official record on this permit would remain open, at ADEM’s Headquarters Office in Montgomery, until 5:00 PM on October 29, 2020, for additional oral or written comments.

Greene County Townships schedule inaugurations

The four municipal governments in Greene County have scheduled their inauguration ceremonies for Tuesday, November 2, 2020.
City of Eutaw will hold its ceremony at 12 noon on the Judge Rolanda Wedgeworth in the center of town. Judge Lillie Jones Osborne will officiate.
Town of Forkland will hold its ceremony at 5:00p.m. at the Town Hall. Judge Lillie Jones Osborne will officiate.
Town of Union will hold its ceremony at 6:00 p.m. at the Union Fire Station Hall. The city clerk, Ms. Marilyn Sanford will officiate.
Town of Boligee will hold its ceremony at 5:00 p.m. at its Paramount School site. Judge Rolanda Wedgeworth will officiate.

Newswire : Nigerian writers rip ‘terror squad’ as protestors cry ‘just stop killing us’

Nigerians protest killing by police


Oct. 26, 2020 (GIN) – For many, the memories of rogue Nigerian soldiers firing live ammunition at hundreds of peaceful protesters in Lagos, killing at least 12 people, will be hard to forget.
 
Now, some of Nigeria’s prize-winning authors have turned acid-tipped pens against the government of Muhammadu Buhari for failing to rein in an elite police unit whose sullied record of unprovoked raids, arbitrary beatings, arrests and extortion, especially against young people, has sparked a movement that brought out thousands nationwide.
 
Renowned novelist and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was among the writers who shared an outpouring of grief and fury after the wanton shooting of young Nigerians trapped in a cul-de-sac while calling for an end to the harassment and killings by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
 
“SARS is random, vicious, vilely extortionist,” Chimamanda wrote in a recent article. “SARS officers raid bars or arbitrarily arrest young men for such crimes as wearing their hair in dreads, having tattoos, holding a nice phone or a laptop, driving a nice car. Then they demand large amounts of money as “bail.”
 
Toyin Falola, distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas, added: “Oct. 20, 2020 will go down in Nigerian history as the day the whole world saw images of the green-and-white striped flag stained with the red blood of protesters bludgeoned by the forces of the state… The abuses of President Buhari’s government are no longer being kept in the dark.”
 
Chidozie Uzoezie, a Lagos-based freelance writer, penned: “SARS, founded in 1992 to fight crimes, has metamorphosed into a hydra-headed plague, brutalizing and killing poor and voiceless Nigerians while protecting the rich… The Nigerian Police Force has been reduced from being law enforcement agents to mere trigger-happy tools in the hands of irresponsible governments and desperate politicians. In short, a menace.”
 
Finally, over 100 noted Nigerian writers signed an open letter published in African Arguments:  “We denounce in the strongest terms the tyrannical and shameful persecution of innocent Nigerians by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the continued harassment of peaceful protesters.
 
“As Chinua Achebe said, ‘We cannot trample on the humanity of others without devaluing our own.’ We ask that the government of Nigeria, under President Buhari, take concrete measures, beyond the flippant rhetoric of years gone by, and immediately reform the Nigerian Police Force as a whole.
 
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters protesting on the streets of Nigeria, and ask that every right-thinking member of the global community raise their voice and support the agitation for justice for the victims of police brutality in Nigeria, the immediate termination of such inexcusable conduct by all units of the police and a sincere and tangible reform of the police in Nigeria.”
 
More than 56 people have died since demonstrations began in Nigeria more than two weeks ago. w/pix of SARS protest
 

“I have given Alabama a voice, a clearer, more concerned, compassionate voice for all the people of the state, in the U. S. Senate, for the past two years,” says Doug Jones

• Working through the Senate Armed Services Committee to provide support for military bases and defense contractors from Huntsville to Mobile.
• Negotiating, together with Senator Richard Shelby and Congresswoman Terri Sewell an adjustment in the wage index rate for calculating Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, which boosted the payments to all hospitals in the state who serve impacted patients.
• Together with Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, adding a section to the 2018 Farm Bill to assist farm families with Heir Property problems. This helped many African-American farm families, whose land is held as heir property, to access USDA farm credit and conservation programs. This section also authorized a new $5 loan program to assist families with heir property, to receive technical and credit assistance to clear their land titles and tenure arrangements.
Jones said he is working hard to get another coronavirus relief package passed by the U. S. Senate, based on the $2.2 Trillion-dollar HEROES Bill passed by the U. S. House of Representatives. “People are unemployed and suffering, we need to do something that will help people make the rent and put food on the table, as well as implement a plan to control and contain the virus,” he said.
Doug Jones is currently locked in a re-election battle with former Auburn football coach, Tommy Tubberville, which will be decided by the upcoming November 3rd General Election.
“My opponent, Tommy Tubberville, uses talking points from Trump and McConnell, as his campaign program. He has not barthered to learn the issues that face our state, in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, economic impacts of the pandemic, voter suppression and voting rights and many others,” said Jones.
“Tommy refuses to talk to the media and he is also not talking with the people and voters of Alabama. I, on the other hand, have been very transparent, talking to the media, holding telephone and Facebook townhalls ands trying to communicate with people in this state about my positions on the issues that face us,” said Jones.
One of the things that I am most proud of is the annual reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” on the floor of the U. S. Senate, which I helped to initiate. This year the reading was postponed by the COVID-19 crisis and the death of George Floyd. “Having a bi-partisan group of my colleagues read this letter, on the floor of the U. S. Senate, after Floyd’s death was a profound and powerful moment, for our nation,” said Jones.
After my interview with Senator Doug Jones, I am more committed than ever to vote for him for a full six-year term, as U. S. Senator.