CDC director: Racism a public health threat

The CDC director declared racism a "serious public health threat" and announced new initiatives the agency is taking to address health inequities in an April 8 statement.  

Rochelle Walensky, MD, CDC director, pointed to communities of color facing disproportionate COVID-19 case counts and death rates throughout the pandemic. 

"The disparities seen over the past year were not a result of COVID-19," Dr. Walensky wrote. "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," calling it a "serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans." 

In response, the agency is developing research initiatives to evaluate how social determinants of health affect patient outcomes and implement solutions accordingly.

In addition, the CDC will use COVID-19 funding to ramp up investments in minority and other vulnerable communities. The investments aim to create a "durable infrastructure that will provide the foundation and resources to address disparities related to COVID-19 and other health conditions," according to Dr. Walensky's statement. 

A newly launched webpage, "Racism and Health," will house the agency's progress on related initiatives. 

ore articles on public health:
Brazil coronavirus variant cases jump in US: 5 things to know
1 in 4 American adults don't want a COVID-19 vaccine: NPR
Michigan surge strategy: Biden sends federal resources, isn't boosting vaccine supply


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