(Washington D.C. – June 23)
John Auerbach, President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, issued the following statement:
“As our nation struggles to manage the continued surge of COVID-19 cases, we need to strengthen the public health response. Resistance to public health messages and threats to public health leaders and agencies undermine the efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of America’s residents. We need to support the leadership of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies in the efforts to re-open safely.
CDC, state, local, tribal, and territorial public health staff have been working around the clock for months to respond to the pandemic and protect the public, while often relying on overworked staff and inadequate systems that are the result of decades of underfunding.
CDC is a scientific agency that must be able to function in an apolitical manner. We must amplify the unfettered voice of CDC, not stifle it.
The broad scope of CDC’s work – from chronic disease to injury prevention to environmental health to emergency preparedness to infectious disease – is critical. It isn’t possible to effectively meet the needs of the American people if the scope is narrowed. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that the underlying health of Americans – including, for example, obesity, heart disease and diabetes – has a direct impact on the risk of serious illness and death. And the pandemic has also starkly highlighted the unacceptable health disparities related to racism and discrimination which can only be addressed with a sweeping health focus.
The mission of the CDC is clear and replicated in every state and local community’s public health department: save lives through sound public health. Now more than ever we need them to accomplish their mission.”