CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was shocked with reports that the CDC has alerted states to be ready for a coronavirus vaccine just ahead of the upcoming general election in November.
“I’m very concerned about the fact that the CDC is now talking about vaccines in connection with elections. That should not be happening,” Lightfoot said. “We should always be focused, particularly when it comes to response to COVID-19 on what the science tells us.”
The mayor said she’s doubtful a COVID-19 vaccine will actually be ready by late October.
“I would be shocked if that happens before Election Day. That’s why I’m deeply concerned about the CDC talking at all about anything other than what the science is, what the results are, the phase three trials. That’s the language of the CDC, not elections,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot also addressed comments by President Trump that he would withhold federal money from cities run by Democrats. He ordered the Office of Budget Management to look into cutting federal funding to cities where he said “weak mayors” are allowing “anarchists” to “harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses.”
“Unfortunately again, we’re going to see more of this nonsense from now until Election Day. It’s very sad coming at a time where our residents all across this country, not just here in Chicago, are craving for a leader who speaks about unity,” Lightfoot said. “It’s unfortunate that the president, as part of his reelection effort, thinks he can demonize cities like Chicago, mayors like me, like in Seattle and other places around the country. We’re not going to have it.”
She threatened legal action if the Trump administration goes forward with plans to withhold federal funds.
“If the president and his team are foolish enough to think that they can unilaterally cut off our funding because we are not bending to his will as if he is an emperor and not a president who is responsible to the people, once again we will see him in court,” Lighfoot said. “And we will win. And when we win, we will make him pay for what his foolishness has brought to the city of Chicago.”
Mayor Lightfoot announced a $330 million initiative to acquire and rehab 7,000 units for affordable housing, focused on Chicago’s South Side and West Side. The money is coming from 40 banks with the cooperation of the Community Investment Cooperation (CIC.) The units will be in up to 400 building and the project will take about five years to complete.
“As we continue to weather the storm of COVID-19, it’s our responsibility to make sure that our residents, especially those on our South and West Sides, have a place to call home and find shelter,” said Mayor Lightfoot.