DALLAS, July 2, 2020 — In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, public health officials worldwide are working tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID-19 by making evidence-based recommendations to the public, collaborating with health systems to provide the best care for patients and advising communities on how to reopen their economies while protecting the health of their residents and averting future shutdowns.
We are deeply troubled to see the expertise and authority of these public health champions being undermined in ways that threaten public confidence in those who are best suited to protect the health and safety of our communities. Public health officials deserve our thanks and support for their efforts to respond to this historic pandemic while continuing their critical work to prevent disease, end tobacco use, ensure the safety of our food supply and countless other measures to promote good health. What they do not deserve are threats of personal harm, attacks on their professional integrity or pressure in any form to cease speaking to the best available science.
At risk are the health and well-being of our communities – particularly low-income populations and communities of color that found themselves unprepared for the pandemic and unable to adequately respond. The unconscionably high rates of severe disease and death from COVID-19 among people of color have added urgency to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the public health infrastructure and improve disease surveillance data collection. This requires a robust, sustained investment in the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments at the state, local, territorial and tribal levels.
The American Heart Association has fought heart disease and stroke for nearly 100 years. Science always has been, and always will be, at the heart of our efforts. In response to this pandemic, we are proudly working in collaboration with public health experts, health care providers, scientists and policymakers in the United States and around the world to share evidenced-based information and promote fundamental practices – including hand washing, physical distancing, mask wearing, testing, contact tracing and rapid containment – to slow the spread of COVID-19. We stand in solidarity with our public health colleagues and health officials worldwide in promoting science- and evidence-based information and resources that will save lives.
About The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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