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Chicago mayor says COVID-19 vaccine faces 'reluctance' among African American communities

Chicago mayor says COVID-19 vaccine faces 'reluctance' among African American communities
© Screenshot/ MSNBC

Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago teachers approve agreement to return to class America is learning the devastating power of teacher unions Atlanta students who fell behind during pandemic may face mandatory summer school MORE (D) stated that news of a coronavirus vaccine has been met with some reluctance from African Americans and communities of color in a recent interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

During his show Thursday, Todd asked Lightfoot what responsibility she believes she has in helping to build trust in a COVID-19 vaccine among the public.

"There's plenty of reason in the history of this country, particularly in communities of color, to be a little nervous about the government telling you to take something," Todd said. "Is this burden on you? On the city? Or is this burden do you think on the federal government?"

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Lightfoot responded by saying that she completely understands the hesitancy in communities of color to have faith in a vaccine presented to them by the government.

"I'm well aware of unfortunately the sad history of experimentation on African Americans and people of color, which is a legacy we're still dealing with now and it's manifesting itself into reluctance on the part of some to think about the vaccine," Lightfoot said.

She said Chicago is taking measures to increase trust by getting health care professionals to share their experiences and making more information about the vaccine readily available to the public.

"[T]he people that are actually involved in direct patient care, when they're comfortable and they speak their truth to people in the community, that's going to be incredibly important. We've got a huge grassroots movement going to make sure that we educate people about the vaccine and they can see for themselves why it's safe," she told Todd.

Lightfoot hit at President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE's handling of the virus and said that she does not think that he has helped to instill trust in a vaccine.

"Certainly, the current president hasn't helped at all and I think that has added to the public skepticism about the vaccine," she stated before adding, "But it's important that leaders at all levels, at the grassroots level, at the elected officials level, are stepping up and saying 'This is absolutely necessary to help us return to something of a normal life,' so we've got to get as many people vaccinated as possible."

Earlier on Thursday former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton stated that they would all get vaccinated for the virus publicly to encourage Americans to trust the vaccine.