NEW YORK - New York City's Health Department officially declared racism a public health crisis.
"Racism exacts a health and economic cost on all of society. We are at a pivotal moment in taking on racism as a public health crisis — and the COVID-19 pandemic must render unacceptable that which has been condoned for generations," New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi wrote on Twitter Monday.
The city’s Board of Health passed a resolution on Monday that cited America’s history with slavery and the impacts of the coronavirus felt by minority communities.
The resolution calls on health officials to help address racism in their own policies, including implementing policies for "a racially just recovery from COVID-19, as well as other actions to address this public health crisis in the short and long term."
"Structural and environmental factors such as disinvestment, discrimination, and disinformation underlie a greater burden of these diseases in communities of color," Chokshi wrote. "These inequities are disparities that are avoidable, unjust, and unfair."
Other actions include: establishing "a Data for Equity internal working group to ensure the agency apply an intersectional, anti-racism equity lens to public health data and provide annual guidance to other NYC Mayoral agencies on best practices to collect and make available to the Health Department relevant data to track and improve health equity;" and "That the NYC Health Department make recommendations on anti-racism, health-related NYC Charter revisions to the newly established Mayoral Racial Justice Commission to strengthen the NYC’s effort to combat racism."
Choski said that people of color are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus than white people.
Other cities have also declared racism a public health crisis in recent months.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared racism a public health emergency in June. The city’s public health department said it would also allocate nearly $10 million in coronavirus relief funds to establish six Healthy Chicago Equity Zones to help improve community living.
FOX News contributed to this report.