The mayor and city council of Salt Lake City, Utah, signed a joint statement last week declaring racism a public health crisis.
Fox News reported that Mayor Erin Mendenhall, a Democrat, announced the declaration in a tweet on Tuesday.
“We are publicly acknowledging the existence of a grave inequity many in our community have long experienced, and are committing ourselves to creating policies and ordinances that are anti-racist,” Mendenhall tweeted.
The resolution cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which under the Biden administration declared racism “a serious threat to the public’s health” in April. As The Daily Wire reported at the time, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the statement. The CDC’s website was updated to echo the statement, saying, “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.”
“Racism — both interpersonal and structural — negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people, preventing them from attaining their highest level of health, and consequently, affecting the health of our nation,” the CDC’s statement on the Racism and Health initiative said.
The Hill noted at the time that the CDC’s insistence that racism is public health threat made it “the largest federal agency to do so.”
“The declaration is part of a new agency-wide initiative called Racism and Health, which the CDC said is meant to be a hub for its research into the effects of racism on health, and efforts to achieve health equity. The initiative is meant to go beyond studying the issue and focus on taking action,” the outlet added.
Salt Lake City is the most recent Democrat-led area to make such a declaration, saying in its resolution that racism impacts people’s personal lives, including where they live and work to where they go to school, “which creates inequities in access to a range of social and economic benefits” such as education and employment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how pre-existing structural inequities created heavier burdens of disease, death and social consequences onto communities of color in Utah,” the resolution added.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in June made a similar declaration, The Daily Wire reported.
“At almost every point in our city’s history, sadly, racism has taken a devastating toll on the health and well-being of our residents of color, and particularly those who are black,” Lightfoot said at a press conference at the time. “Without formally acknowledging this history and reality, and the continuing impact of that infamous legacy, looking at the root causes of today’s challenges, we will never be able to move forward as a city and fully provide our communities with the resources that we need to live happy, vibrant, and fulfilled lives.”
Also in June, the Connecticut state legislature passed a bill declaring racism as a public health crisis and sent it to the Democrat governor.