Hispanic Caucus Chairman Castro offers Cinco de Mayo message commending Latino resiliency amid coronavirus

Greg Nash

Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Tuesday offered a Cinco de Mayo message on the resiliency of the Latino community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Castro noted in the statement that the community will be celebrating differently “whether at home or virtual,” adding that “they will represent the strength, determination, and courage of the Mexican people.”

“This spirit is exemplified by the essential workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis such as farmworkers, meatpackers, caregivers, doctors and nurses, and many others who are risking their lives for all of us,” he said. 

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the first Battle of Puebla, when the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862. Castro said the holiday also presents an opportunity to commemorate how immigrants from Mexico have contributed to U.S. society.

The Texas lawmaker said the Latino community is disproportionately affected by the pandemic, citing statistics that millions of people in mixed immigration-status families were refused stimulus checks because of who they chose to marry.

“As we face a challenging road to recovery, let’s remember our communities have overcome insurmountable challenges in the past,” Castro said. “Cinco de Mayo is a moment to be joyful and recognize the resiliency of the Latino community in the face of adversity.”

President Trump also released a Cinco de Mayo message to the public Tuesday. He said he and first lady Melania Trump recognized the Mexican American community for its “numerous exceptional contributions to our country, particularly today with so many Americans of Mexican descent serving on the frontlines.”

“Although this year’s celebration may not include the usual festivities and parades, the holiday’s underlying story of perseverance and resilience is as relevant as ever,” Trump said.

“The battle reminds us that great challenges and hardships can be overcome by unwavering resolve and a determined spirit,” he added.

The coronavirus has infected at least 1.18 million people in the U.S., killing at least 69,079 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Statistics from early April indicated that black and Latino communities are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, leading lawmakers to call for better data collection on COVID-19 cases and deaths broken down by race. 

Later last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data and information showing the effects of the pandemic on minority populations so far.

Tags Cinco de Mayo Congressional Hispanic Caucus Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Hispanic Joaquin Castro Latino Melania Trump White House

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