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CDC, together against Racism

by avenuepop

In the midst of a nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice within the U.S. has been a
focal point for revolutionary actions as more citizens are using their voice to unite and ignite
change. From calls to mayors offices to marches in various cities across the country, the protests
have been battle cries for the recent assassinations of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud
Arberry and Rayshard Brooks. According to NPR, over 1,000 employees at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling the federal agency to address
“ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination against Black employees.”
Addressed to CDC Director Robert Redfield, the June 30th letter was penned in the context of
the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the Black community in the recent murders of George
Floyd, Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.
“In light of the recent calls for justice across this country and around the world, we, as dedicated
public health professionals, can no longer stay silent to the widespread acts of racism and
discrimination within CDC that are, in fact, undermining the agency’s core mission,” the letter
reads.
The notoriously opaque federal agency is having a peak of transparency through the circulation
of this letter within the workforce. Former medical officer at the CDC for 14 years, Dr. Camara
Phyllis Jones, remains in contact with current employees and says that after the letter was sent to
Robert Redfield 9% of the agency’s workforce have signed the letter. While about 300
employees chose to endorse the letter anonymously, only current CDC employees can sign the
letter once. The letter is also open to be signed by any CDC comployee, not just people of color.

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