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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist to head COVID-19 racial disparities task force

garlin gilchrist
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Radio
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist

Black people make up more than 40% of all COVID-19 related deaths in Michigan, but black people are only about 12% of the state’s population.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist is starting a task force to address and deal with the racial disparities in Michigan

Gilchrist says deeply rooted social inequalities like lack of access to fresh produce, affordable healthcare, and jobs that can worked remotely are among the causes for the disparate outcomes with the disease.

“So this isn’t something that is new during COVID-19, but something that we need to address both uniquely in the context of this pandemic and broadly going forward,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist says the Cornavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities will have between 15 and 20 members. And it will be representative of the populations being most affected by this pandemic.

Gilchrist says the task force will focus on policy solutions more than assigning blame for the disparities.

“We want to take quick action to try to slow the spread of the virus in the black community and communities of color here in Michigan right now,” he said.

The task force will have its first meeting Saturday, and the 15 to 20 members will join remotely. You can find out more at Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

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Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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