New CDC Initiative: Racism and Health

Posted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 20, 2021

CDC declares racism in US as a public health emergency

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last Thursday declared racism a “serious public health threat,” becoming the largest federal agency to do so.

“A growing body of research shows that centuries of racism in this country has had a profound and negative impact on communities of color,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement published on the agency’s website.

Walensky noted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt most severely in communities of color, which have experienced disproportionate case counts and deaths.

“To build a healthier America for all, we must confront the systems and policies that have resulted in the generational injustice that has given rise to racial and ethnic health inequities,” the agency said.

The declaration is part of a new agency-wide initiative called Racism and Health, which the CDC said is meant to be a hub for its research into the effects of racism on health, and efforts to achieve health equity.

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