Voter Safety during a Public Health Emergency: What I Learned from My Role as a Public Health Advisor In New Mexico’s June, 2020 Primary Election

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19COVID-19 and Health EquitySocial and Community ContextCivic Engagement and Voting

August 4, 2020

How could I make the most of my public health law background as an “actively retired” public health attorney during a pandemic whose scope has not been seen since The Great Influenza of 1918-1919? The COVID-19 pandemic flared in the spring of 2020 while preparations were underway for the 2020 New Mexico Primary Election scheduled for June 2, 2020, with early voting beginning on May 5, 2020.

Read more

Kemp v. Bottoms Unmasked: Emergency Powers and State Preemption

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response

July 23, 2020

In Kemp v. Bottoms, the State of Georgia sued the City of Atlanta seeking to declare null and void three local emergency orders issued by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The orders at question roll back the reopening of Atlanta and, to deter the spread of the virus, mandate that people in the city wear masks when outside or in commercial businesses. Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, has been unwilling to mandate face coverings throughout the state and has aggressively sought to re-open his state’s businesses.

Read more

State Mandates Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19

July 17, 2020

Many are optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine will allow us to return to “life as we know it,” with worry-free in-person gatherings like large sporting events and in-person university classes. While a vaccine is likely not the cure-all to the coronavirus pandemic and all it has brought with it, development of a safe and widely available vaccine will certainly signal a light at the end of the tunnel.

Read more

Legal and Policy Action Now Can Lay the Groundwork for Posttraumatic Growth

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Mental Health and Well-Being

July 16, 2020
by Jill Krueger

Posttraumatic growth has been defined as “positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.” It is generally discussed as an individual phenomenon that may be supported in the clinical setting, but the concept may warrant consideration at the population level, as public health practitioners and policy-makers seek to address wide-spread traumatic experiences in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and racial trauma.

Read more

The Navajo Nation Responds to COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Tribal HealthSocial and Community Context

June 30, 2020

The Navajo Nation has a long history of having morbidity and mortality rates that are much higher than the rest of the nation due to systemic oppression, underfunding by the Federal government, and lack of resources. In light of these factors, it should come as no surprise that the Navajo Nation is suffering extensively due to COVID-19 as compared to other parts of the U.S.

Read more

Meeting the Unprecedented Law and Policy Challenges of COVID-19

Impact StoriesCOVID-19

June 30, 2020

Public health agencies, health care workers, emergency managers, and policymakers are grappling with core legal preparedness and response efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Communities are reeling from COVID-19 on so many levels—from needing to increase or reallocate health care resources, to protecting the safety of front line and essential workers, to addressing the health and economic structural inequities the pandemic has laid bare. Never has there been such an urgent need for government, business, health care and other sectors to ensure their laws and policies protect the health of our communities.

Read more

COVID-19 and the Election: In a Public Health Emergency, We Need to Be Guided by Experts

Network NewsCOVID-19 and Health EquityCivic Engagement and Voting

June 26, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has helped exacerbate existing barriers to voting and election participation, making it more difficult for people across the country to exercise their right to vote. As the nation races to contain the spread of COVID-19, we must protect our voting systems and ensure that everyone can safely and securely vote throughout the remaining 2020 election cycle.

Read more

Policing as a Social Determinant of Health: Addressing the Public Health Crisis of Systemic Racism

Law & Policy InsightsRacism as a Public Health Crisis

June 18, 2020

Although racism in the context of policing is often seen as a criminal justice issue, the reality is that racism and policing disparately affect health outcomes, and ultimately all aspects of life, for Black individuals and people of color. Racism and police violence are public health crises. We can begin to solve this crisis by prioritizing policing and systemic racism as critical social determinants of health. Doing so will truly begin to address the underlying needs of vulnerable communities.

Read more