The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared racism a "serious public health threat," after a new wave of COVID-19 cases was witnessed in the United States.
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Communities of color were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they were more likely to be hospitalized or even die from the virus, the CDC said in a statement.
The disparities of health care among different groups during the pandemic also underlines a serious problem in the United States.
"Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin, or their race, or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky pointed out.
The CDC is taking steps to address racism as a major driver of racial and ethnic health inequities. "Confronting the impact of racism will not be easy. I know that we can meet this challenge," he added.
The United States recorded more than 31 million COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, with more than 560,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
So far, about 189 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in the U.S, while over 237 million doses have been distributed across the country.