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Protesters in front of Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, D.C., this month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Cities and counties across the U.S. have declared racism a public health crisis or have drafts awaiting votes and final decisions.

Why it matters: The trend follows almost three weeks of protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, as nationwide protesters demand action from their elected officials.

"'It is Milwaukee County's responsibility to address racism, including seeking solutions to reshape the discourse, actively engaging all citizens in racial justice work. Local government needs to take a leadership role and we intend to do so."
— County Executive Chris Abele in a statement, per WBUR

The state of play: Milwaukee was the first city in the country to declare racism a public health crisis, CBS reports. The city was named the most segregated in the country by the Census Bureau in 2017.

  • Boston became last Friday one of the largest cities to declared racism a public health crisis, with Mayor Marty Walsh announcing plans to reallocate $3 million from the police department's budget to put toward public health, per NPR.
  • More declarations were made this week, with Charlotte, North Carolina, among the latest to do so on Wednesday.

Racism has been declared a public health crisis in:

Go deeper: Minneapolis city council official calls for racism to be declared a public health emergency

Go deeper

Trump supporters rally at polling place during early voting in Virginia

People stand on line, spaced six apart due to COVID-19, in order to vote early at the Fairfax Government Center on Friday in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump descended on a polling place in Fairfax, Virginia, Saturday, chanting "four more years," as early voting continued in the state for a second day, video from the scene shows.

Driving the news: While the group did not directly block the Fairfax County Government Center entrance, some voters and elections staff "did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group," an official said, per the New York Times.

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.