Social inequality in U.S. highlighted by COVID-19

By Richard Hack

This video begins in the early morning hours of Brooklyn where LEvan Bryant begins his night shift collecting garage from grocery stores and hospitals in Brooklyn.

“I’m just grateful to be working still, and making money, because if we don’t come to work, who will pick up the hospital trash?” he said, standing outside a marshalling depot in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

“Hey, bring your bottle,” he hollered at a truck driver, handing off a spray bottle of bleach, a mask and gloves, as he made sure the drivers had some protection against the coronavirus.

Action Environmental Services, a private sanitation company in New York, has had to lay off about 40 workers since the city went into lockdown. A 37-year-old worker in the Bronx died from COVID-19 last week, said Stephen Thompson, president of Laborers Local Union 108.

“The men are very nervous about doing the job out here,” he said. “Picking up hospital garbage is pretty nasty and they worry about bringing [the virus] home to their families.”

Richard Hack is an award-winning author and journalist. He Is LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings' Vice President of Content and Executive Editor of lgbtqloyalty.com.

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