U.S. and World Politics

Where are the Guardians of Public Health?

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

The failure of the guardians of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is a catastrophe. Physicians and public health workers have a duty to protect the health of the people. Why is there silence from the medical community as politicians of every stripe remove protective public health measures, leaving us all “free” to be infected, as COVID-19 spreads across the nation, leaving sickness, disability and death in its wake. A deliberate policy, rationalized by a non- scientific, dark ages, “herd immunity” fiction. In the UK, scientists and doctors are not afraid to shout out publicly, that ending all COVID-19 restrictions is “dangerous and premature.”1

Which U.S. physicians and public health organizations have taken a public stand to protect the people?

Have medical schools, state medical boards, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association taken a public stand to condemn the government’s abandoning all public health measures? Have they issued statements, made press releases, held demonstrations, or job actions? The silence is deafening!

Who will stand up for the people’s health?

Vaccines alone, without public health measures, cannot effectively contain or eliminate COVID-19. The science of public health can rapidly reduce transmission and spread of the virus, through social distance, masking, testing, tracing, and isolation.

Who will fight against the 24 states that are actively trying to draft laws to dismantle or weaken the powers of public health?2

Who is organizing to immediately replace the more than 180 state and local public health officials in 38 states who have resigned, retired, or been fired?

Who will struggle to demand the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), keep workers safe on the job with compulsory and enforceable regulations?3

Who will demand an immediate reversal of the cuts to OSHA inspectors, now at the lowest number since 1975?

Who will speak out, and take action to confront the destruction of public health, the rejection of science, and the resulting risk of disease and death for millions?

The population has been abandoned by the guardians of public health.

We the people, the vast majority, the working people, are on our own. We must rely on ourselves to insist that the government protect us.

Trillions of dollars have gone to Wall Street and the military, while pennies go to protecting our health. The health of millions depends upon our organizing independently to demand our social needs be met.