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 might be anti-racist,” Mendenhall, a Democrat, wrote in a tweet asserting the decision.
The decision, citing the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, stated racism is a critical 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 coloration.”
The Salt Lake Metropolis decision went on to say that racism impacts many elements of an individual’s life, from the place folks stay to the place they work and go to highschool, “which creates inequities in entry to a spread 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, dying and social penalties onto communities of coloration 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 had been thrice 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 dying charge thrice increased than the state common, Black persons 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 start weight, it stated.
Town resolved to evaluate public well being knowledge and improve transparency, take steps to handle “poor outcomes” and “work with County Well being companions to handle systemic boundaries to well being together with racism.”