National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: A Statement on the Impact of Racism on Public Health by National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

3 years ago

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: A Statement on the Impact of Racism on Public Health

"On behalf of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), we wish to express our outrage and grief over the tragic death of George Floyd and other victims of systemic racism. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to afflict the country and affects Blacks/African-Americans in disproportionate numbers reminds us of the critical importance of following public health recommendations to help control the pandemic. We affirm the right of all individuals to protest peacefully and we urge all who protest to do so as safely as possible: 

  • wear a face mask
  • stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • use hand sanitizer
  • use signs and noise-makers instead of yelling 
  • try to limit your contact to small groups of people

Diversity and inclusion are core values for NFID. As public health professionals and advocates, we recognize that racism is a social determinant of health that contributes to disparities in health outcomes. These disparities have been reflected in a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions and early deaths in addition to historically low vaccination rates among communities of color. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these disparities have become even more evident in the higher numbers of illnesses and deaths among Blacks/African-Americans and other minority populations. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic racism.

NFID calls for additional research into effective interventions and continued education of healthcare professionals and the public to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities. We cannot achieve our vision of healthier lives through effective prevention and treatment of infectious diseases without addressing racism and its role in driving health disparities."

– Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr., M.D., NFID President, Marla Dalton, PE, CAE, NFID Executive Director and CEO, William Schaffner, M.D., NFID Medical Director and Patricia N. Whitley-Williams, M.D., NFID President-Elect

Source: Press release from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 

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Elisa Schmitz
I appreciate this statement and the points you make. Thank you for the important message and for all you do to help us stay well.
Wow, important to know this.

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