Director of Money Follows the Person
Traffic stops are already dangerous and have proven deadly for black drivers, and when you add disability, your risk increases. My fear of a traffic stop is one that I have all the time. Not long ago, it came true on the DC Capital Beltway. I was driving down the beltway when I looked in my rearview mirror to see a state trooper following me. I knew at that point he would pull me over. When he did, my heart was beating because I immediately thought about our location and what he would do when I told him my wallet was in my wheelchair backpack. At first, he didn’t get out of the car, and he was talking through his car speaker. I couldn’t tell him I was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t do what he asked, which was to get out of the car. I wasn’t speeding too much that required me to get out, so I didn’t understand why that was being requested.
By Tracy Waller, Esq., MPH
“If it’s COVID, Paxlovid.” Or is it? Pfizer launched its most recent commercial for Paxlovid in February 2023 and has gone full throttle into its advertisement of the drug. Pfizer first received Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for Paxlovid in December 2021 and then received a revised EUA in February 2023. The commercial touts the drug as a “miracle” drug of sorts. On November 6, 2022, the Office of Veterans Affairs released a study showing that Paxlovid can reduce the risk of symptoms of long COVID. Pfizer includes in its commercial for the drug, as required, that certain classes of people are excluded from taking Paxlovid based on negative drug interactions; however, the gravity of the number of people who are ineligible to take the drug is not readily apparent and leaves large swaths of the United States’ (“US”) and global populations without access to this life-saving drug. The lack of access to Paxlovid for the people most vulnerable to COVID-19- the elderly, people with disabilities, and other immunocompromised people – emphasizes the need for pharmaceutical companies to focus on developing treatment options that meet the needs of so many of those left behind.
The National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality
Who We Are
We are a group of people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, professionals, and collaborators committed to learning and teaching about the interests, needs, and wants of people with marginalized identities and lived experiences of disabilities. Five partner organizations founded our Center.
What We Do
The National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality identifies and works together to reduce inequities in healthcare, community living, and justice for people with disabilities. The Center: (1) amplifies the voices of people with disabilities, (2) creates materials to impact positive change, and (2) shares information with people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and policymakers.
How We Work
We convene a Community of Practice (CoP), which is a group of people collaborating to dismantle systems of ableism, racism, cisgenderism, and other forms of oppression. The Community of Practice will meet monthly and may work between some meetings to develop resources and tools. The Center is also home to the Changemakers Coalition, which supports the diversity of youth with disabilities working for a more equitable future.
How Can You Join
If you are interested in joining the CoP, e-mail Leah Smith at email@example.com. To find out more about the Center, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.