The city council decided that racism is now officially recognized as a public health crisis in Oakland (California). As a result, the city needs to decide how it can achieve equity regarding laws, hiring, policy making, and all aspects of planning, according to CNN.
The measure seems to be rooted in how the COVID pandemic led to some racial disparities in some US cities. For more than two years since the pandemic first hit the country, more than 88 million infections and over one million deaths caused by the virus were reported by the US, according to worldometers.info.
There were centuries of systemic racism; a resolution was needed
A unanimous vote by the city council in Oakland that occurred last week led to racism officially becoming a public health crisis.
Seema Rupani, who’s an attorney in the office of Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, explained for CNN:
It reminds us that centuries of systemic racism have profoundly harmed communities of color and led to disturbing health disparities that are exacerbated by the pandemic. It took time to draft this in a thoughtful way
He said as the same source quotes:
It took time to talk to different city departments, do the research on the social determinants of health, and look at what was happening in Oakland and what needs to be done to reduce disparities.
However, the COVID pandemic still exists in the world, including the US, where over 17,000 infections were reported yesterday, according to worldometers.info.
As for the overall numbers, the same source tells us that over 544 million infections and more than 6.3 million deaths caused by COVID were reported worldwide so far.
In Oakland, over 422,000 people were living there in 2020.