Sarbanes Calls on Congress to Forcefully Respond to Structural Racism and Health Disparities in America [Video]

“For Too Long, the Federal Government Has Failed to Adequately Recognize and Address Structural Racism As the Public Health Crisis That It Is”
June 24, 2021
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Health Subcommittee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) urged his colleagues in Congress to improve health equity and invest in efforts to root out systemic racism in America.

“I believe Congress should use every available tool to create an equitable recovery, as well as address the root causes that have created health disparities for years,” said Congressman Sarbanes, Vice Chair of the House Health Subcommittee. “For too long, the federal government has failed to adequately recognize and address structural racism as the public health crisis that it is. Black and brown communities have been denied access to quality, affordable health care, have faced barriers to securing safe, quality, affordable housing and have suffered the consequences of environmental racism for generations.”

Sarbanes continued: “The COVID-19 pandemic, as we know, unveiled and exacerbated longstanding racial disparities in health outcomes. It’s time we recognize and treat structural racism and police brutality through a public health lens when we can.”

Sarbanes concluded: “One way to do that is by passing … the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act … a critical bill introduced by my colleagues, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Barbara Lee. This bill would expand federal research and investment into the public health impacts of structural racism, require the federal government to proactively develop anti-racist health policy and take a public health approach to combating police violence.”

See below for a video of the Congressman’s remarks.