Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, Mayor Erin Mendenhall stated on Tuesday she and the metropolis council have signed a joint decision declaring racism a public well being disaster.
“We’re publicly acknowledging the existence of a grave inequity many in our group have lengthy skilled, and are committing ourselves to creating insurance policies and ordinances which are anti-racist,” Mendenhall, a Democrat, wrote in a tweet saying the decision.
The decision, citing the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, stated racism is a severe public well being menace as a result of it’s “confirmed to have dangerous impacts on the psychological and bodily well being of communities of colour.”
The Salt Lake Metropolis decision went on to say that racism impacts many elements of an individual’s life, from the place folks dwell to the place they work and go to highschool, “which creates inequities in entry to a variety of social and financial advantages” like housing, schooling, wealth and employment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how pre-existing structural inequities created heavier burdens of illness, demise and social penalties onto communities of colour in Utah,” it stated.
The decision cited quite a few statistics from the Utah Division of Public Well being, together with that odds of a coronavirus an infection have been 3 times extra probably in Salt Lake Metropolis’s Latino neighborhoods, and whereas Latinos depend for simply above 14% of Utah’s inhabitants, they’ve contracted 40% of the state’s instances.
American Indian and Alaska Native folks had a coronavirus demise fee 3 times greater than the state common, Black individuals are extra more likely to die of colorectal most cancers however much less more likely to get screened and Black and Asian infants usually tend to have a low beginning weight, it stated.
Town resolved to overview public well being information and enhance transparency, take steps to deal with “poor outcomes” and “work with County Well being companions to deal with systemic boundaries to well being together with racism.”