“COVID-19 has highlighted the health divide between black and white Ohioans"

NY Post reports that Ohio is declaring racism as a public health crisis amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Franklin County made the declaration on Tuesday, vowing to support community efforts which aim to combat racism.

“Racism has been a pandemic long before the current coronavirus pandemic,” Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce said.

Boyce emphasised that the declaration does not mean that racism has not existed prior to Covid-19.

“Our declaration today is important, but it’s not saying anything that hasn’t been apparent for a long time.”

However, the commissioner stated that Coronavirus has shone a light on the severity of racism in the area.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the health divide between black and white Ohioans, however, and I hope that it can be the catalyst we need to reform the whole health system so that it works for all of us equally,” he added.

“Nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of our residents,” said John O’Grady, president of the Franklin Board of Commissioners.

“Our community’s success depends on all Franklin County residents being able to share in it, but right now we have a system that is resulting in different outcomes for people based on the color of their skin. That’s not acceptable.”

Hate crimes towards Asians have been rising since the outbreak of the pandemic. A report by the Human Rights Watch has shown that Coronavirus is fuelling anti-Asian hate.

Crimes towards Asian Americans in Los Angeles have surged during the Coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, NYPD also issued its latest crime report, showing that crimes against Asian Americans were on the rise in April.

Most recently, an indigenous Vancouver woman was punched in the head after she sneezed.