March 2, 2020
Hundreds of public health and legal experts have signed an open letter detailing a series of recommendations for government officials to consider through new legislation, policies, leadership and spending in response to the widespread transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus within the U.S.
The letter, Achieving A Fair and Effective COVID-19 Response: An Open Letter to Vice-President Mike Pence, and Other Federal, State, and Local Leaders from Public Health and Legal Experts in the United States, stresses the importance of protecting vulnerable populations, including healthcare workers, people living with chronic health conditions, incarcerated individuals, and the elderly:
“Sustained human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus in the United States (US) appears today inevitable. The extent and impact of the outbreak in the US is difficult to predict and will depend crucially on how policymakers and leaders react. It will depend particularly on whether there is adequate funding and support for the response; fair and effective management of surging health care demand; careful and evidence-based mitigationof public fear; and necessary support and resources for fair and effective infection control.
“A successful American response to the COVID-19 pandemic must protect the health and human rights of everyone in the US. One of the greatest challenges ahead is to make sure that the burdens of COVID-19, and our response measures, do not fall unfairly on people in society who are vulnerable because of their economic, social, or health status.”