Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi (pictured) acknowledged in a statement that people of color have experienced 'inequalities' and COVID-19 'magnified' it
The New York City's Department of Health passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in the city, setting the groundwork for an anti-racism agenda after the board pointed to the impact the pandemic has had on minorities on the nation's history of slavery.
The resolution was approved Monday by an 11-member board whose members are largely appointed by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio.
'To build a healthier New York City, we must confront racism as a public health crisis,' Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi said in a statement.
'The COVID-19 pandemic magnified inequities, leading to suffering disproportionately borne by communities of color in our City and across our nation. But these inequities are not inevitable,' he said.
The resolution will expand the Health Department's anti-racism work within the city, including establishing a Data for Equity internal working group to ensure the city applies an 'equality' lens when offering guidance on public health and improving data on race, gender, and other demographics more accurately by working with sister organizations.
The Board of Health passed the landmark decision on Monday after declaring racism a public health crisis back in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd. The department outlined their 'actions' on Twitter, writing that they plan to acknowledge the departments 'historic role' in underinvesting in community-led health programs and conducting an anti-racism review of its health code, among other things
In the wake of Floyd's death, the Health Department acknowledged that 'Black and Brown communities face the disproportionate impact, grief and loss from the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the trauma of state sanctioned violence'
Chokshi said the decision 'officially recognized' the crisis and it 'demanded action.'
The resolution also recognized the 'disproportionate drop in life expectancy for black and