The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be restarting its dormant "gun violence" research program to address the "epidemic" of firearm deaths and injuries, reported the Daily Wire.
"Something has to be done about this," said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "Now is the time — it's pedal to the metal time."
She said the health services agency would branch from issuing COVID-19 recommendations to the issue of gun control for the first time in "decades."
"Firearm injuries are a serious public health problem," wrote the CDC on its website. In 2019, there were 39,707 firearm-related deaths in the US or about 109 people dying from a firearm-related injury each day. Six out of every 10 deaths were firearm suicides and more than three out of every 10 were firearm homicides.
More people suffer nonfatal firearm-related injuries than die. Seven out of every 10 medically-treated firearm injuries are from firearm-related assaults, and two out of every 10 are unintentional firearm injuries. There are few intentionally self-inflicted firearm-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments. Most people who use a firearm in a suicide attempt die from their injury.
According to the CDC's mission statement, the agency "saves lives and protects people from health threats." The body's mandate has largely been limited to addressing illnesses and pathogenic health threats, advising on health and wellness, and helping Americans prepare for natural disasters.
The CDC mandate adds "[it] works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the US. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same."
Firearm injuries affect people in all stages of life, according to reporting. Firearm-related injuries are among the five leading causes of death for people ages one to 64 in the United States.
Some groups have higher rates of firearm injury than others. Males account for 86 percent of all victims of firearm death and 87 percent of nonfatal firearm injuries. Rates of firearm violence also vary by age and race/ethnicity.
Firearm homicide rates are highest among teens and young adults 15 to 34 years of age, and among black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Hispanic populations. Firearm suicide rates are highest among adults 75 years of age and older and among American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic white populations.