The Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned America of the dangers posed by “racism” towards a person’s health this week; releasing a statement that said it “affects our entire nation.”
“What we know is this: racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans,” Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “As a result, it affects the health of our entire nation. 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 worship and gather in community. These social determinants of health have life-long negative effects on the mental and physical health of individuals in communities of color.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the death of over 500,000 Americans. Tens of millions have been infected,” she said. “And across this country people are suffering. Importantly, these painful experiences and the impact of COVID-19 are felt, most severely, in communities of color — communities that have experienced disproportionate case counts and deaths, and where the social impact of the pandemic has been most extreme.”
“Yet, the disparities seen over the past year were not a result of COVID-19. Instead, the pandemic illuminated inequities that have existed for generations and revealed for all of America a known, but often unaddressed, epidemic impacting public health: racism. Over generations, these structural inequities have resulted in stark racial and ethnic health disparities that are severe, far-reaching and unacceptable,” concluded Walensky.