In 2018, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, became the first community to declare racism a public health crisis. Many communities have since done so since with more than 200 declarations of racism as a public health crisis made by city/town councils, county boards, governor/mayoral statements, school boards, and health associations or public health departments across the country.
Earlier this week, the New York City Board of Health passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. The resolution asks the Health Department to expand its anti-racism work and requires it to create priorities for a racially just recovery from COVID-19. It also includes other requirements to address this public health crisis in the short and long term.
California, Ohio and Connecticut are the states with the most declarations to date. In the state of Florida, the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and the Manatee County Board of Commissioners.
In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director, Rochelle Walensky, MD declared racism a serious public health threat.