Ayanna Pressley, along with fellow Reps. Sen Elizabeth Warren and Barbara Lee, joined forces last week to announce “The Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020.”
The bill would create national centers to research health disparities related to bigotry and would recognize racism as a public health crisis.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic unveiling and exacerbating racial disparities in health outcomes, it is time we recognize and treat structural racism and police brutality as the public health crises that they are,” Pressley said in a statement.
According to Pressley’s website, the Center would be responsible for:
Conducting research, collecting data, awarding grants, and providing leadership and coordination on the science and practice of anti-racism in the provision of health care, the public health impacts of systemic racism, and the effectiveness of interventions.
“It is time we start treating structural racism like we would treat any other public health problem or disease: investing in research into its symptoms and causes and finding ways to mitigate its effects,” former Democratic candidate Warren said. “My bill with Representatives Lee and Pressley is a first step to create anti-racist federal health policy that studies and addresses disparities in health outcomes at their roots.”
“COVID-19 has exposed the injustices in health outcomes for Black and Brown people, and it’s no coincidence,” Lee said to The Root. “In addition to addressing the lasting impacts of systemic racism in criminal justice, economic inequality and the like, we must also commit resources to understanding racially unjust health outcomes.”