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Sununu Expresses Support for Ensuring COVID Aid to Communities of Color

Josh Rogers / NHPR
Gov. Chris Sununu during a coronavirus update in Concord earlier this year.

Gov. Chris Sununu is responding to criticism from some Black, Latino, and immigrant business owners who say the state hasn't done enough to make coronavirus relief funds available in communities of color.

As NHPR's Jason Moon reports, Sununu expressed support for some of the recommendations those business owners provided.

Sununu didn't say exactly what he planned to do, just that the recommendations in the letter from minority business owners were “pretty good.”

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He said he plans to combine those ideas with recommendations due later this week from the state's COVID-19 Equity Response Team. That group was established to investigate the disproportionate impact the virus is having on minority communities.

“We'll kinda put those two together and some of the other ideas that we've heard out there from that community and see if we can create some opportunity for them and really break down those barriers,” Sununu said.

Data from the state shows Black and Latino residents in New Hampshire make up a disproportionately large share of COVID-19 infections.

At a news conference Tuesday, reporters asked the governor several questions about public safety in connection with President Trump’s planned campaign rally Saturday in Portsmouth.

Sununu is declining to issue any public health orders specific to the rally. At least one Portsmouth city councilor has called for the governor to require cloth face coverings.

Sununu said his approach to large outdoor events has been consistent since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Whether it's a campaign event, or a Black Lives Matter event, or a protest on the State House lawn to reopen New Hampshire -- whatever it is, we've never said no to those events and we've always held everyone to the exact same standard,” he said.

Sununu is encouraging anyone who plans to attend the rally to wear a mask and says people over 65 shouldn't go.

Sununu also says he will be wearing a mask when he greets Trump upon his arrival in New Hampshire.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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