Gilchrist Leads Task Force On COVID-19’s Racial Disparity Problem

New data shows COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting African American communities across the state.

The coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately impacting people of color throughout Michigan.

“It’s not just an all-hands-on-deck moment, it’s also an all-ideas-on-the-table moment.” — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist

While African Americans make up about 14% of the total state populous, they account for 40% of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist has assembled a new task force in an effort to address the evident disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. 

Click on the player above to hear Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist on new task force to tackle racial health disparities and COVID-19. 


Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist says the task force is trying to take a holistic approach and will consider a number of factors when interpreting data that shows clear racial health disparities in the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not just an all-hands-on-deck moment, it’s also an all-ideas-on-the-table moment. We need to try as much as possible to save lives,” says Gilchrist.

He says while it’s important to address all aspects of crisis, it is also essential to act swiftly.

“We expect to have some interventions on the ground in the next week.”

The current health crisis has exposed longstanding systemic racial disparities, something that Lt. Governor Gilchrist says the administration was tackling prior to the pandemic. Issues like labor protections and environmental racism are top of mind for Lt. Governor Gilchrist. He says these racial health disparities will be addressed through the task force in an immediate manner but will also continue to be a part of the administration’s agenda long term. “I don’t think this was lost on us before, it won’t be lost on us going forward,” says Gilchrist.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date

WDET is here to keep you informed on essential information, news and resources related to COVID-19.

This is a stressful, insecure time for many. So it’s more important than ever for you, our listeners and readers, who are able to donate to keep supporting WDET’s mission. Please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.