LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/NBC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is declaring racism to be a “serious threat” to public health.
The CDC made the announcement this week, saying that racism “negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people” and “consequently, affecting the health of our nation.” The CDC director also said that minorities experience higher rates of illness and death across a wide range of health conditions and cited the covid-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact among minorities as another stark example of these enduring health disparities.
Public health officials praised the CDC for this declaration, saying it was a long time coming.
Health advocates say racism is operating not only with respect to COVID-19 but also with respect to infant mortality, maternal mortality, obesity.
The CDC says it has launched a web portal “racism and health” with the goal of starting a public discourse around the topic.