Dr. Fauci speaks at Rainbow PUSH convention, encourages vaccination

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke Monday at the national convention for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

There was limited seating to participate in-person at Rainbow PUSH. Most participants are attending the 55th annual Rainbow PUSH Convention virtually.

Topics this year center around COVID, including the economic and social issues. The first topic was healthcare and disparities highlighted during this pandemic.

"We are not healthy until everyone is healthy and we cannot have a strong economy and country if health inequities and racism exist," said Rosalyn Carpenter, chief diversity officer at Common Spirit Health. "I believe together we can have a brighter future, but we must act and act now."

"We know for a fact that talent and brilliance is prevalent and dominant in our community, but opportunity is not. So if we want to deal with representation, we got to make sure to provide those opportunities for people," said Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist at Michigan State University.

Dr. Fauci offered remarks about the science around COVID and the vaccines.

"We must fully implement and utilize the most extraordinarily effective tool we have, and that is highly effective vaccines," Fauci said.

Those watching in person appreciated the conversation, but acknowledge being virtual isn't the same.

"This is very different for me because sitting and interacting with a lot of people and having those sidebar conversations this was amazing because you can use it for tools in the classroom," teacher Etta McChristian said.

Rev. Jesse Jackson announced he will sleep outside the Capitol to protest the eviction moratorium as the annual convention continues virtually through Friday.
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