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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.

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

29 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.