California needs to recognize racism as a public health crisis


California needs to recognize racism as a public health crisis

In summary

SB 17 would lead to identifying racial and ethnic disparities, and addressing structural racism in state policies and budgets.

By Richard Pan, Special to CalMatters

State Sen. Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, represents the 6th Senate District, [email protected] Dr. Pan, a pediatrician, serves as chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” but despite our aspirations, all Americans do not enjoy equal opportunity. 

The COVID pandemic underscores ongoing disparities in health, education and wealth afforded to different Americans depending on their race. The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate based on race, but the virus’ spread and severity depends on the circumstances of its victims. 


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