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Racism is an “epidemic impacting public health” that worsened the coronavirus pandemic for “communities of color,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared Friday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made the claim in a “Health Equity” statement on the agency’s website.
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“Racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans. As a result, it affects the health of our entire nation,” Walensky said.
“Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin or their race or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently to influence where a person lives, where they work, where their children play, and where they gather in community,” she said.
Responding to the news, Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro tweeted: “Stupidity is a serious public health threat.”
The American Public Health Association created an interactive map showing “declarations of racism as a public health crisis or emergency” in the U.S., with California leading the charge for “racial justice.”
“Confronting the impact of racism will not be easy. I know that we can meet this challenge,” Walensky added.
The CDC announced it will use COVID-19 funding for “new and expanded investments in racial and ethnic minority communities” and will continue to study the impact of racism on health and propose solutions to address it.