Leading Public Health Professionals Endorse Biden

In an open letter to the American people posted on the website Medium (here), ​over 500 public health professionals have endorsed Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States. Public Health Professionals for Biden took this unprecedented step because they are deeply concerned by the response of President Trump to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter notes that while the United States has 4% of the world's population, it has suffered 20% of the world's COVID-19 deaths, faring much worse than many countries with fewer resources. The letter states, "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."

"In my long career, first in the military and then in academia," said Dr. Donald S. Burke, Dean Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, "I have fought epidemic infectious diseases around the world. I am dismayed that my own country now lags behind so many others in our response to COVID-19. We can do better. America needs a change in Presidential leadership."

The letter goes on to say President Trump misled the American people about how infectious the virus is, 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.

Signers of the letter include active and retired public health experts from both government and non-government sectors, including current or former Deans of schools of public health, as well as retired Admirals in the US Public Health Service, a group trained to combat epidemics.

In endorsing Biden, the letter asserts that Biden will provide clear, consistent national leadership that will save lives and get businesses, schools and communities open again. Dr. Deborah Klein Walker, a past president of the American Public Health Association, said, "The U.S. has been the global leader in addressing previous epidemics, like the Zika outbreak. We need a leader who will respond quickly to restore the public's faith in our ability to address this COVID-19 crisis." 

"The upcoming election is crucial to the public health of the nation. The virus is surging in many parts of our country, however, the Administration's response remains chaotic," said Paul Cleary, Dean Emeritus at the Yale School of Public Health. "A continuation of the Trump presidency would undoubtedly lead to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of our fellow citizens."

Public Health Professionals for Biden is a grassroots movement of public health professionals. The Open Letter was not authorized by any candidate, candidate's committee or political party.

CONTACTS: Dr. Paul Cleary (paul.cleary@yale.edu) or Dr. C. Robert Horsburgh Jr. (rhorsbu@bu.edu).

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Source: Public Health Professionals for Biden (PHP4Biden)

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