Chicago fights gun violence and COVID-19

Terrance Henderson, a former gang member, leads community group Chicago CRED which is battling two public health crises
2:51 | 05/23/20

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Transcript for Chicago fights gun violence and COVID-19
We turn to the ABC news series, "Pandemic -- a nation divided." Black and Latino adults were more than three times as likely to know someone who died from the virus than white Americans. Here's Alex Perez from Chicago. Reporter: Smiles, hopes, dreams -- destroyed. African Americans, they are being hit significantly harder. Reporter: Their faces overwhelmingly black and Latino. Of the coronavirus deaths here in the Chicago area where race is known, nearly 50% percent black, even though African-Americans only make up about a third of the city's population. Almost 30% of deaths, Latino. In the Roseland neighborhood, residents were already battling an epidemic of gang and gun violence. And it's not slowing down. Shootings are up in the city 22% from last year. There's still violence happening every day. Reporter: Former gang member Terrance Henderson lives here. We're going to continue to canvas this hotspot area. Reporter: And is a leader in the anti-violence group called Chicago cred. Inform them about wearing the mask versus not wearing the mask. Reporter: He's now fighting two public health crises in his own backyard. Just try to get the people to understand that this is really serious. Reporter: It sounds like the way you approach violence is the same way you approach the pandemic. Absolutely. Full foot on the gas. No stopping. Reporter: I guess you just care about the virus. The virus, E.R. Physician Dr. Garth walker says, is ravaging people of color. He's seen it firsthand in the patients he treats. We've been seeing a lot of black and brown families presenting with respiratory issues, pretty advanced. The pandemic lifted a veil. It showed just how strong the inequities are in our society. Reporter: He's calling on city officials to increase testing in minority neighborhoods, something the mayor here says is a priority. In the mostly Latino little village neighborhood, Jerome Montgomery worked to convert this community center into a testing facility. There are more reported cases here than in any other Chicago zip code. We hear this -- stay at home, isolate, work from home. But that's simply just not possible for a lot of people. Yeah, 90% of the individuals within this community are within the service industry. Reporter: Many, like Pedro Ramos, who just got tested. He works at McDonald's and lives paycheck to paycheck. Reporter: He's saying that he hopes we can return to normal sometime soon. He's really relying on this negative test to be able to get back to work. Tom, we're here outside that testing clinic tonight. It opened about seven weeks ago. Organizers tell me that people who come here, more than 50% of them are still testing positive. Tom? More than 50%. That puts so much in perspective. Alex Perez tonight with some very important reporting. Alex, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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