Van Jones says while America's now coping with a pandemic, black America's been battling epidemic violence, poverty and disease long before coronavirus came along.
The Reform Alliance CEO was on "TMZ Live" Friday to talk about his CNN special, "The Color of Covid" -- and he didn't mince words when describing the challenges facing many minority communities.
Van says there's always been an epidemic of death in neighborhoods of color. He says, "You’re worried about invisible bullets from the virus? We've been dodging real bullets the whole time." He says that mentality explains the recent massive crowds gathered for parties in Atlanta and Chicago.
Black and Latino communities also face different health risks as the nation reopens, due to underlying health problems that have gone unchecked for years. As Van, and many doctors, point out ... hypertension, heart disease and diabetes immediately put you in the at-risk category for COVID-19. Of course, staying home only creates economic hardship.
Van says the federal government needs a better battle plan, one that offers better medical AND economic stimuli to people of color.
As for the $3 trillion stimulus package already passed ... he says it's missed the mark with the people who need it most. Van and Don Lemon will be tackling these issues, and others, Friday night (10 PM ET) on CNN.