By Selena Simmons-Duffin and Pien Huang, National Public Radio, July 13, 2020
More than 1,000 current employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the federal agency to address "ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination" against Black employees, NPR has learned.
In the letter, addressed to CDC Director Robert Redfield and dated June 30, the authors put their call for change in the context of the coronavirus pandemic'sdisproportionate impact on Black peopleand the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks. NPR obtained a copy of the letter, which is published below.
"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.
We are hurt. We are angry. We are exhausted. And ultimately, we fear that, despite the global protests, little will be done to address the systemic racism we face each and every day.
Letter from CDC employees to Robert Redfield
The letter offers a rare glimpse inside a famously opaque federal agency, where career staff often work for decades and information is carefully filtered to the public through the press office.
Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, who was a medical officer at the CDC for 14 years and remains in contact with current employees, says that after the letter was sent to Redfield, it was circulated among the 11,000-person workforce for signatures.
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