Michigan to require health workers to get implicit bias training

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order Thursday requiring medical professionals to undergo “implicit bias” training before getting licenses — citing the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on people of color, according to reports.

Whitmer signed an executive directive to develop rules to require the training following a recommendation from her Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, according to the Detroit Free Press. Implicit bias training aims to help people recognize unconscious prejudices, such as racism.

“COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors, and we must do everything we can to address this disparity. The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan’s health care system,” Whitmer said.

She cited experts who say implicit bias impacts the quality of health care that racial minorities receive in hospitals, ranging from testing to treatment.

The coronavirus is four times more prevalent among black people than white people in Michigan, according to clickdetroit.com. As of last week, 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths were among black people despite the demographic making up just 14 percent of the state.

Whitmer’s order directs the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to come up with rules that require implicit bias training as part of the skills necessary for workers to get or renew their medical licenses.

It wasn’t clear what specific training exercises or lessons the health care workers would be required to undergo. Reps for Whitmer didn’t immediately return the Post’s request for comment.

But employees working everywhere from Starbucks to the NYPD have been required to undergo implicit bias training in the past, with some experts saying the proven effectiveness of the courses remains to be seen.

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Melia Hotels highlights Cuba as safe tourist destination

Havana, Jul 9 (Plenglish) The Spanish chain Melia Hotels highlighted Cuba as a safe destination during the post-Covid-19 recovery stage, thanks to the local authority success in controlling the epidemiological situation.

‘One of the great successes of the epidemiological situation in the country lies precisely in the recovery stages, in other words, it was understood that the health of all Cubans had to be protected in the first place,’ Francisco Camps, Melia Hotels representative, said to the press.

He said that in terms of tourism, clear formulas were established for different recovery phases, with which it is intended to avoid any outbreak.

Camps pointed out that the hotel opening will be conducted as demand in the sector increases, although Melia Hotels is set to operate its facilities in Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria.

In this regard, he stressed that Cuba has a favorable and controlled epidemiological situation with respect to other countries.

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Amazon is afresh a target of US policy against Cuba

Washington, Jul 9 (Plenglish) The e-commerce giant Amazon must pay over 134,000 dollars to the US government for allegedly violating Washington´s sanctions on Cuba and other nations.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reported Tuesday in a statement that the Seattle-based company agreed to pay 134,523 dollares ‘to solve its possible civil liability for allegedly violations of multiple sanction programs.’

According to the statement, the alleged violations consist of having accepted and processed some requests on its websites for people located or employed by the embassies of Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, nations subject to OFAC´s unilateral sanctions.

The statement also set down that from November 15, 2011 to October 18, 2018, people in Crimea, Iran, and Syria ordered or made some business on Amazon´s websites.

Overall, the alleged violations were primarily some transactions involving low-value retail goods and services, for which the total amount of the transactions was about 269,000 dollars.

These violations happened primarily because Amazon’s automated sanction detection processes were unable to fully analyze all clients´ transactions and particulars to OFAC compliance.

It is not the first time that Amazon has been hit the effects of the hostile US policy against Cuba, since this tech company was one of the US companies hit by lawsuits under Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Act.

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