Last week, ACOG led America’s frontline physicians in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging affirmation of the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in protecting public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Representing more than 600,000 physicians and medical students, ACOG, together with the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, and American Psychiatric Association, expressed concern with the recent reports that the administration is considering narrowing the CDC’s mission. COVID-19 is highlighting the importance of having a strong CDC and public health infrastructure to respond to outbreaks, and it is critical that the CDC maintain its core functions, including serving as a public health data repository.
CDC is playing a key role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic – providing guidance to states, clinicians, and all Americans; supporting laboratory testing for the virus; and enhancing surveillance efforts to inform the nation’s response. Chronic underfunding of the CDC and public health systems broadly is exacerbating our challenges to effectively respond to COVID-19, and we urge the administration to abandon any effort to disrupt the public health infrastructure and instead prioritize investments in public health, including all of the CDC’s core functions.
As you continue to care for your patients on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, ACOG will continue our advocacy to strengthen the scientific and public health expertise across HHS.