Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Monday that the city is rolling out a health initiative for black and brown communities after a report revealed that black residents accounted for 70 percent of coronavirus-related deaths. “It’s devastating to see those numbers,” Lightfoot said at a press conference. “And knowing they’re not just numbers, they’re lives. There’s families and communities that have been shattered.” WBEZ radio station reported on Sunday that 70 percent of people who have died are black residents, even though they only make up only 29 percent of the city’s population.
The mayor said the health campaign will bring together faith leaders, city officials, and neighborhood advocates to provide support to black and brown communities struggling amid the coronavirus crisis. Lightfoot emphasized that the city cannot “erase decades of health disparities in a few days or a week,” but said that “we have to impress upon people in these communities that there are things that they can do, there are tools at their disposal that they can do to help themselves.”