An Open Letter to the American People from Public Health Professionals for Biden

October 13, 2020

Fellow Citizens:

We, a group of public health professionals who have devoted our careers to protecting Americans from epidemics and other disease threats, are deeply concerned by the response of President Trump and his Administration to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date the virus has killed more than 200,000 Americans, with no end in sight. Why is it that our country, with 4% of the world’s population, has suffered 20% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths? Why is it that the United States, once a global leader in public health, has fared much worse than many countries with much fewer resources in our response to COVID-19? No President could have prevented COVID-19 from coming to the United States, but we believe that President Trump, with the world-class experts and resources he has at his disposal, could have more effectively limited the damage to our health and to our economy. America needs an honest, compassionate and capable leader to get us out of this crisis. For this reason, we endorse Joe Biden to be our next President.

Honesty and transparency are essential for leadership in a crisis. President Trump misled the American people about how infectious the COVID-19 virus is and told us it would ‘just go away.’ He misleads us when he says the virus does not harm younger people. While the highest rate of death is seen in older Americans, many younger people have died of COVID-19. The virus attacks not only the lungs, but also the heart, brain and kidneys. People of all ages who survive even a mild infection may suffer long term health problems.

Empathy is also an essential leadership quality that unites people during times of crisis and lets them know their leaders are aware of the hardships they bear. Sadly, President Trump lacks this characteristic. Joe Biden’s compassion stems from personal tragedies he has suffered, losing a wife and two children, and from his strong religious faith. Where others see only numbers, Vice-President Biden sees the faces of Americans who are suffering and dying. That empathy and connection to his fellow citizens has motivated him through previous crises as a Senator and Vice President. It will motivate him again to fight the pandemic and put our people back to work.

We know Joe Biden will provide the leadership we need against COVID-19 because he helped lead the Obama-Biden Administration’s responses to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Ignoring medical and public health experts, President Trump has promoted ineffective or dangerous treatments, repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of masks to prevent the spread of the virus and ignored guidelines for physical distancing at his events. In place of the chaotic response from the current President, Joe Biden will provide clear, consistent national guidance to help communities respond to the pandemic. He will use science to drive his strategy, communicating with us clearly and frankly. Joe Biden will provide medical and public health experts the support they need to bring COVID-19 under control.

The current President has not met the challenge of COVID-19 and there is little doubt that many Americans have died as a result. Joe Biden has the character and experience needed to lead us through this crisis and others that we may face. He will make the response to the pandemic his top priority in order to save lives and get our businesses, schools and communities open again. That is why we support Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States and why we urge you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Public Health Professionals for Biden

If you are a public health professional and would like to sign the letter, please complete this form. We will update this list daily with new signatories until November 3rd.

For media inquiries, please contact C. Robert Horsburgh Jr. (rhorsbu@bu.edu) or Paul Cleary (paul.cleary@yale.edu).

The Open Letter to the American People from Public Health Professionals for Biden was not authorized by any candidate, candidate’s committee or political party. Affiliations are for identification purposes only. The views expressed by signers of the letter are their own.

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