The current closure of a Boston-area Walgreens is tied to racism, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) claimed earlier this week.
The member of the far-left “Squad” of congressional Democrats accused the Illinois-based firm of participating in a “life-threatening act of racial and financial discrimination” over its resolution to shutter a pharmacy Wednesday in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, a predominantly minority community.
“Walgreens is planning to shut one more pharmacy within the Massachusetts seventh. This time on Warren Avenue in Roxbury – a neighborhood that’s 85% Black and Latino,” Pressley stated throughout a speech on the Home flooring Tuesday.
The 49-year-old lawmaker known as the closure “half of a bigger development of abandoning low-income communities,” pointing to previous Walgreens store closures in her district.
“When a Walgreens leaves a neighborhood, they disrupt your entire neighborhood and so they take with them child formulation, diapers, bronchial asthma inhalers, life-saving drugs, and, after all, jobs,” Pressley continued.
“These closures aren’t arbitrary and they don’t seem to be harmless. They’re life-threatening acts of racial and financial discrimination,” she claimed.
Backed by her fellow state Democrats Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Pressley stated the Massachusetts lawmakers “demand solutions” from the corporate about its resolution to shut up store in Roxbury.
“Roxbury’s closure was resulting from a number of components together with the price of working, low prescription quantity and low reimbursement charges,” a Walgreens company spokesperson instructed The Publish, calling the choice to shutter the shop “tough” however needed “on account of the present working atmosphere and our monetary efficiency.”
The corporate spokesperson famous that Walgreens is “dedicated to well being fairness,” stating that about half the corporate’s shops within the Boston space are situated in neighborhoods which were “historically underserved.”
Walgreens stated it pushed again the Roxbury closure by two weeks and is engaged on “transportation options” for patrons and providing them free same-day supply for the subsequent three months.
“We look ahead to working with elected officers, neighborhood leaders and others to handle the obstacles that make it tough for us to function pharmacies in varied communities throughout the nation,” the spokesperson stated.
Walgreens didn’t particularly identify crime or retail theft as a cause for the Roxbury closure, however viral videos of thieves ransacking the corporate’s shops throughout the nation have raised suspicions on social media.
“Possibly inform your pals to cease robbing the shop and Walgreens received’t depart the neighborhood,” Kevin Smith, host of the “Loud Majority Reside” podcast, tweeted in response to Pressley’s remarks.
“Possibly we should always defund the police some extra. Yeah yeah, that may most likely assist.” Patrick Byrne, the previous chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, wrote on X.
“Okay @RepPressley, go the hat, elevate cash and put a retailer within the Walgreens location. Let’s see how the race card works when individuals steal from you,” conservative radio discuss present host Larry Elder stated in an X post.
The Nationwide Retail Federation has blamed “unprecedented ranges” of theft for rising shrink charges – the trade time period for misplaced stock – at retailers throughout the nation.
The commerce group’s most recent study discovered that shrink charges elevated to 1.6% in fiscal yr 2022, up from 1.4% the earlier yr, amounting to $112.1 billion in losses.
In her flooring speech, Pressley stated Walgreens’ “speaking factors about well being fairness and underserved communities shouldn’t be sufficient.”
“Walgreens is a multi-billion-dollar company that should put their cash the place their mouth is and cease divesting from Black and brown communities,” she added.
“Disgrace on you, Walgreens.”