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On In Focus, PHL17’s longstanding community affairs program airing Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 1 p.m. with Jennifer Lewis-Hall we start with a look the toll COVID is taking now in area of life expectancy in the region and across the country and the numbers are staggering. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued statistics saying that life expectancy dropped one year during the first half of 2020 to the lowest level in fifteen years. And, experts say the impact on African Americans and Latinos is even greater. Joining Jennifer on In Focus to talk about this is Dr. Renee Bullock-Palmer who is a locally based cardiologist and the Women’s Heart Center Director at Deborah Heart and Lung Center.

Up next on In Focus with Jennifer Lewis-Hall honoring Black History Month. As we know, COVID-19 has impacted all of us, but it has especially made an impact on the African American community. Our Khiree Stewart recently spoke with doctors at a health center in our area about why African Americans are more at risk of getting COVID-19, where fear of the vaccine comes from and how to solve it.  

Then, we turn to maternal health and COVID-19 and a women’s health caucus that is focusing on gaps in access to medical care and disparities. The Women’s Health Caucus in the Pennsylvania Legislature is a bi-partisan caucus that partners with advocacy organizations. Democratic State Senator Judy Schwank of the eleventh district including Reading Pennsylvania and parts of Berks County is with us. She talks about a recent hearing on the issue and explains why the caucus is discussing proposed legislation and funding to help in a number of ways including regarding pre-natal care.

And, in our final segment of In Focus – we turn to news regarding the United States Senate. Philadelphia Democrat and State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta has officially announced that he is running for the United States Senate in the next election. He joins us to talk about his decision to run. He will be running against Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman in the primaries.

In Focus airs Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. on PHL 17. It’s where you’ll find key information on issues impacting the community and hear from people throughout the Delaware Valley.