The US is going through a public health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, another major issue is under the highlights apart from the pandemic. Several leaders are taking notice of the ongoing racism in the country. The US states are now declaring racism as a public health crisis. But why?
After the murder of George Floyd, many states came forward and declared that racism is a public health crisis. The California local governments, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada, and Michigan supported this statement.
Several local governments have been speaking on this issue as a health crisis for quite some time. Health professionals also called racism a health crisis for about a decade. Hence, this statement is not in any way new.
Even though many states in the US identified it as a health emergency, the issue sparked again after a war against racism started recently. People are now more considerate towards the fact that Black Americans face discrimination at the hands of police and health facilities in the country.
More local governments are now declaring racism as a public health crisis after people urge their communities to take action. Georges Benjamin is the executive director of the American Public Health Association. He said that this action will make people understand that racism hurts people. It will show the people who discriminate due to race that it harms others’ health.
Health experts declared that racism is a health issue based on several factors. It impacts the everyday life of a person. It affects the lifestyle, the income, and the environment of the people who suffer due to racism.
Racism impacts every aspect of the life of a person. Several studies show that ethnic communities suffer from more health conditions. This shows that it has a direct impact on the health of African Americans and other ethnic communities.
Data shows that black women in the US have a four times higher chance of death related to childbirth as compared to white women. Likewise, black men are at twice a greater risk of death by a police officer as compared to white men.
Black people have a higher early death rate due to underlying health conditions. These people suffer from major diseases like heart conditions, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This decreases their life span as compared to white people in the US.
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The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the issue of racism towards black people. Johns Hopkins presented a report which shows that Black Americans and Latinos have a higher risk of death due to Covid-19. It increases due to their health conditions which increases the risk of a severe infection of coronavirus.
The report also shows that most of these people do not health insurance do to which they neglect their health. Also, they receive improper care in health facilities as compared to White Americans.
The movement of racial justice in the US spread worldwide. Several countries are taking action on the systemic racism embedded in their system. The movement also made a huge impact in the US after which many leaders declared racism as a public health crisis.