Why do Black American women die having babies?

The United States has the highest — yes the highest — maternal mortality rates in the developed world. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women. That is in keeping with other sobering statistics of racial health inequities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mary C. Curtis sits down with Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, President Biden’s pick to lead the task force on health equity. They discuss why Black people suffer disproportionately and what is being done to change the equation.

No true economic growth without true equality, Cecilia Rouse says

President Joe Biden tapped Cecilia Rouse to chair his Council of Economic Advisers and tasked her, the first Black woman to hold the job, with seeking to advance racial equity in his economic policies.

Rouse, previously the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a member of President Barack Obama’s economic council, recently joined CQ Roll Call’s Equal Time podcast to discuss her plans.

The ‘invisible’ people who pay the price for Trump’s COVID malpractice

Despite the late nights and long hours that took my father away more than this daddy’s girl would have liked, he never stopped being my hero. I knew that when he finished his day job, changed clothes and headed to his extra shifts tending bar or waiting tables for local caterers, he was doing it for a reason. Lots of them, actually —my mom, two sisters, two brothers and me.

For someone as proud as he was, it was a sacrifice because of what he had to put up with from people with a lot more money and a lot less character. They treated him like he was “invisible,” or worse, and he put up with it, for us.

What he did not have to do is endure the recklessness of a boss who willfully and deliberately exposed him to a deadly virus in the name of politics.

But others very much like him do.

Mary C. Curtis: Coronavirus Relief Bill

CHARLOTTE, NC — All eyes on Congress to see lawmakers will include in the next stimulus package. Senate Republicans and the white house are on different pages – despite being in the same party. While Democrats say they want a deal done soon.

Political contributor Mary C. Curtis has the latest from Washington.

POLITICAL WRAP: White House Staffer Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Latest on Michael Flynn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Trump administration’s push to reopen is rattled as new cases hit close to home. Three members of the coronavirus task force will quarantine after exposure to a staffer who tested positive.

And Vice President Mike Pence says he’d be “happy” to see Michael Flynn back in the administration. It comes as the Justice Department drops the criminal case against the President’s first national security adviser.

That decision, eliciting praise from President Trump and criticism from former President Obama.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more in the video above.

A question of race is raised

When a reporter asked the question, it was startling because everyone is so used to the interpretive dance around the “r-word,” race, particularly when it comes to describing opposition to any move by the administration of President Barack Obama. After Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a vote on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, press secretary Jay Carney was asked if the White House saw a racial motive. Carney said, “I think it is about politics, and I think we’ve seen this kind of obstruction far too often. For individual motivations, you need to ask the individuals.” The answer was as cagey as ever.

In Watt’s case there were other reasons given for the rejection: political philosophy, or the belief by conservatives that the congressman would favor more federal involvement in the home mortgage industry; competence, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) questioning Watt’s “technical expertise and experience,” and, of course, the brick wall of senators, such as Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has said he wants more information on last year’s attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, before he will approve much of anything.

It is also true that Republicans chose the nomination of Watt — a black Democrat from North Carolina — for the rare though not unprecedented move of filibustering a sitting member of Congress in a sub-Cabinet but still important post. (Republican Sen. Richard Burr of Watt’s home state, with Rob Portman of Ohio, did split with the GOP to support Watt.)