MILWAUKEE — President Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Doctor Ben Carson stopped in Milwaukee Monday.
Secretary Carson toured Westlawn Gardens, a public housing community that has been transformed in recent years with new housing and opportunity for hundreds of residence.
TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with Secretary Carson about housing and home ownership challenges in Milwaukee and the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine.
Carson credits billions of dollars from the CARES ACT for helping millions of people during the pandemic and preventing evictions but says more help will be needed.
"So far that has worked," said Carson, "but its still important, I think for the government to come up with a package that will assist people because through no fault of their own they ended up in a pretty awful situation."
Secretary Carson stop by Westlawn to promote changes to a program that will make it easier to help low income residents find work and job training.
Home ownership has been a decades long struggle from many African Americans in Milwaukee. Less that 30% own their home after years of redlining in the city - a practice that refused mortgage loans to people with low income.
Carson tells TMJ4 a healthy economy is the best way to increase home ownership.
"It's the number one mechanism for wealth creation in this country," said Carson, "and up until the fourth quarter of 2019 when African American unemployment reached record lows and opportunities were abundant that's also when there was a steep climb in black home ownership."
Secretary Carson is the third Cabinet Secretary to visit Wisconsin in the past week.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin called out Carson's trip to Wisconsin.
"The Trump administration can send whoever they want to Wisconsin, but nothing distracts from the reality that Donald Trump is attempting to strip protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic," said party spokesperson Philip Schulman in a statement.
Before public life, Dr. Carson was a well-known surgeon. He downplayed y public concerns about short cutting Covid-19 vaccine trials.
"The way the studies are set up with phase one phase two, phase three trails, there are boxes you have to check off, each one before you proceed to the next step," said Carson, "you can't short cut it."
The Trump Administration launched Operation Warp Speed in March to develop 300 million doses of vaccines by January 2021.