WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) held a virtual roundtable today with Chicago and Illinois leaders and public health experts to discuss the disproportionate public health impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx community. The group discussed plans to equitably distribute a safe vaccine to Latinx communities in Chicago and across Illinois, while also addressing the language and information barriers public health leaders must address to ensure full access

“The Latinx community in Chicago and throughout Illinois has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes outreach, education and implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine all the more important,” Duckworth said. “I’ll keep working with organizations and leaders across the city and state to make sure we can earn trust and increase awareness to keep the Latinx community – and all Chicagoans – safe.”

Duckworth was joined by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and Medical Director Dr. Geraldine Luna, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL-04), Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores, Illinois State Senator Omar Aquino (IL-SD-02) Illinois State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez (IL-HD-21), Chicago Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza and representatives from Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) and Latino Policy Forum.

Duckworth has been working to ensure states and municipalities are prepared to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines, including calling for funding in any upcoming relief legislation to help with the swift distribution of the vaccine. Duckworth also called for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help provide more support to local—particularly rural and underserved—communities with the cold storage needed to store vaccine supplies.

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