CDC’s Director Sets Sights On Health Threats Of Systemic Racism
Racism is a "serious public health threat" according to Director Rochelle Walensky, as she revealed a new "Racism and Health" initiative, which is intended to drive change as well as study the issue.
CDC Director Says Racism Is 'Serious Public Health Threat'
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. (Weixel, 4/8)
CDC Director Declares Racism A 'Serious Public Health Threat'
So what does it mean for the agency? Walensky has charged all of the offices and centers under the CDC to develop interventions and measurable health outcomes in the next year, addressing racism in their respective areas. And she's made clear that is a priority for the entire CDC. The CDC also launched a new web portal, Racism and Health, that's designed to be a hub for public and scientific information and discourse on the subject. The site notes that racism, in both its structural and interpersonal forms, has a negative effect on mental and physical health. (Wamsley, 4/8)
In related news about racism and health care —
The Washington Post:
George Floyd Died Of Low Level Of Oxygen, Medical Expert Testifies; Derek Chauvin Kept Knee On His Neck ‘Majority Of The Time’
The pressure of Derek Chauvin’s knees on George Floyd’s neck and back made it virtually impossible for the handcuffed man to breathe as he was pinned face down on a street and would have killed any healthy person, an expert on the respiratory system testified Thursday. Martin Tobin, a Chicago-area pulmonologist and critical-care doctor who specializes in the science of breathing, testified that the pressure of Chauvin “jamming” his knees into Floyd’s body cut off oxygen and led to brain damage within minutes, sparking an arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop. He characterized Chauvin’s knee as being on Floyd’s neck “the vast majority of the time.” (Bailey, 4/8)
Doctors Challenge 'Drug Overdose' Defense In Derek Chauvin's Murder Trial
Medical experts used anatomical diagrams and charts to testify on Thursday that George Floyd was killed by police pinning him to the ground, not a drug overdose, challenging a key assertion by former police officer Derek Chauvin in his murder trial for Floyd’s deadly arrest. (Allen, 4/8)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Amid Rise In Violence, Asian American Community Leaders Want S.F. To Help Victims
Asian American community advocates urged San Francisco officials on Thursday to fill gaps in public safety and victim services, especially for non-English speakers, amid a rash of violence. Supervisor Gordon Mar held a hearing Thursday to discuss the alarming attacks over the past year that have left Asian Americans injured and traumatized — and in one case resulted in the death of an 84-year-old Thai man. Mar said he was committed to funding public safety, such as victim services, in the upcoming budget. Using his power as chair of the committee that held the hearing, he tasked multiple departments with creating a citywide violence prevention plan by the end of May before another hearing in June. (Moench, 4/8)