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Discussing the 2-year anniversary of the pandemic with Gov. Beshear, a historian and Black business owners

andy beshear
Timothy D. Easley

March 11 marks two years since everything changed. On that day in 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a global pandemic. In the two years since, the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of 960,000 Americans and more than 6 million people worldwide.

Today on Cincinnati Edition, we’ll mark the grim anniversary with a discussion with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear about his handling of the crisis. We'll discuss with him whether the pandemic has been politicized in his state.

Then we'll have a conversation about what we can learn about this pandemic from the 1918 influenza pandemic. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. With an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United States from the 1918 flu pandemic, the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed it. Joining the program is Ohio State University College of Public Health Health Services Management and Policy Associate Professor and Associate Professor of history Marian Moser Jones, Ph.d.

Plus, weathering the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for Black-owned businesses in the United States. A report released in 2021 by the U.S. House Small Business Committee majority staff noted that 41% of Black-owned businesses closed between February and April 2020 in the U.S. That was the largest closure rate of any racial group in the nation, according to the report.

In Greater Cincinnati, Black-owned businesses have an economic impact of $1.44 billion, according to a January 2021 study by the University of Cincinnati Economic Center. Business advocates argue that makes the health of Black-owned businesses important to everyone. Joining the program are Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Eric Kearney; and Davis Cookie Collection owner and CEO Christina Davis.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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