NFID Statement on the Impact of Racism on Public Health

Bethesda, MD (June 2, 2020)On behalf of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), we wish to express our outrage and grief over the tragic death of George Floyd and other victims of systemic racism. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to afflict the country and affects Blacks/African-Americans in disproportionate numbers reminds us of the critical importance of following public health recommendations to help control the pandemic. We affirm the right of all individuals to protest peacefully and we urge all who protest to do so as safely as possible: wear a face mask, stay at least six feet away from others, use hand sanitizer, use signs and noise-makers instead of yelling, and try to limit your contact to small groups of people.

Diversity and inclusion are core values for NFID. As public health professionals and advocates, we recognize that racism is a social determinant of health that contributes to disparities in health outcomes. These disparities have been reflected in a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions and early deaths in addition to historically low vaccination rates among communities of color. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these disparities have become even more evident in the higher numbers of illnesses and deaths among Blacks/African-Americans and other minority populations. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic racism.

NFID calls for additional research into effective interventions and continued education of healthcare professionals and the public to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities. We cannot achieve our vision of healthier lives through effective prevention and treatment of infectious diseases without addressing racism and its role in driving health disparities.



Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. For additional information, visit

Contact: Diana Olson, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases,, (301) 656-0003×140



COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 1, 2020

Discrimination: A Social Determinant of Health Inequities, Health Affairs Blog, February 25, 2020, DOI: 10.1377/hblog20200220.518458,, Accessed June 1, 2020


NFID Statement Against Racism