Posted on April 9, 2021

CDC Director Says Racism Is ‘Serious Public Health Threat’

Nathaniel Weixel, The Hill, April 8, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 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.


According to the American Public Health Association, more than 170 cities, counties and public health agencies in the U.S. have made similar declarations, including the American Medical Association, which praised the CDC’s move.