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Echoing campus leftists, CDC director says racism is a ‘public health’ crisis

Ben Zeisloft, Campus Reform

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky called racism an “epidemic.”
  • Nearly identical claims have been made by leftist academics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky called racism an “epidemic” — a claim frequently made by leftist academics.

In a statement released on April 8, Walensky — a former Harvard Medical School professor — said racism represents a “serious public health threat.”

The pains 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,” she said, “Yet, the disparities seen over the past year were not a result of COVID-19.“

“Instead,” she continued, “the pandemic…revealed for all of America a known, but often unaddressed, epidemic impacting public health: racism.”

Walensky expanded the classical definition of racism to include the claim that discrimination is endemic to American society — another trademark claim of the American left.

“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,” she said. “These social determinants of health have life-long negative effects on the mental and physical health of individuals in communities of color.”

Walensky’s press release announced that the CDC will “expand the body of evidence on how racism affects health,” make “new and expanded investments in racial and ethnic minority communities” with COVID-19 funding, and launch a new web portal, Racism and Health.

Although refusing to use the exact term, Walensky’s claim is fundamentally identical to leftist academics’ insistence that racism is a “public health crisis.”

For instance, Campus Reform reported in August that a Merrimack College professor pushed the town of Natick, Massachusetts into proclaiming that racism is a public health crisis.

Likewise, Indiana University’s health system declared that it would fight racism as a “public health crisis” by increasing staff diversity and dismantling “all the ways that these inequities have been created through decades.”

Campus Reform reached out to the CDC for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

 Follow this author on Twitter: @BenZeisloft

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