(The following op-ed from Senator Mattie Hunter was submitted to the Chicago Tribune on July 28, 2020)

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For the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board to say our federal aid request had “little to do with public health” is disingenuous at best and a flat out lie at worst.

That request specifically asked for the single largest public health investment in Illinois minority communities in modern history.

It is an overdue investment.

It comes at a time when people in Black and Brown communities are being infected, hospitalized and dying at rates exceeding any other community.

It comes as a time when there is growing recognition of these communities’ economic, social and human needs being ignored decade after decade.

That’s why we sought $1 billion in public health investment targeted to these underserved, disproportionately impacted neighborhoods. We also requested hardship pay for the heroes working on the front lines against this virus in health care facilities.

The Tribune Editorial Board skipped all that.

Those are especially hard items to overlook given they were included in Tribune news coverage. Perhaps the Editorial Board should read the paper.

The Tribune Editorial Board’s views on federal relief are stunningly tone deaf at a time when millions of Illinoisans are facing unemployment, food insecurity and lingering racial divisions. I could point out the numerous errors in their argument and judgement, but that’s another letter for another time.

The Editorial Board may score political points in some circles with its finger wagging refrain. I hope it satisfies them. The rest of us will remain focused on getting Illinois through this crisis.

Category: News

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