(NEXSTAR) – The CDC is declaring racism to be a “serious threat” to public health.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky sent out a press release last week making the announcement saying that racism “negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people.”

The CDC director also said that minorities experience “higher rates of illness and death across a wide range of health conditions,” and cited the COVID-19 pandemic and its “disproportionate impact” among minorities.

The CDC is also launching a new web portal as a commitment to combatting the issues brought on by race and health, as it will continue to study the impacts of social determinants on health outcomes.