ACOG CEO Maureen Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG, briefed members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force this week on several ongoing concerns for obstetrician-gynecologists providing care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attendees on the call included White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, MD, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, MD, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, MD, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.
Dr. Phipps expressed ACOG’s appreciation for the continued efforts of the Task Force and underscored our ongoing concerns with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and access to rapid-response diagnostic testing, particularly in labor and delivery units. She also stressed the need to continue to reassure patients that hospitals remain safe places to give birth amid our concerns that COVID-19 could exacerbate our nation’s maternal mortality crisis. In addition, Dr. Phipps shared the financial challenges and need for relief for obstetrician-gynecologist practices struggling to keep their doors open and emphasized the need for clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines to include pregnant women.
We know your ability to practice medicine and care for your patients safely has been challenged in ways we never imagined. We are working every day to advocate for you and your patients, and our advocacy is informed by you. Thank you for your work on the frontlines of this pandemic.