WASHINGTON, D. C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday asked his colleagues in the U.S. Senate to join him in introducing a resolution to declare racism a public health emergency that would be similar to resolutions that the City of Cleveland and Franklin County have already adopted.

The Ohio Democrat’s office said the resolution will acknowledge health care disparities have existed in America for more than 400 years, recognize how those disparities have been worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledge systemic barriers that people of color, particularly African Americans, face when seeking care.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan also wants his city to formally declare racism to be a public health crisis, and members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus in Columbus announced Tuesday that they’re introducing resolutions to do so.

Investing more in public health and understanding racial disparities would begin to shrink the mortality differences “that too many people of color face in our country," Brown told reporters on Wednesday.

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