ASRM Pens Open Letter Defending Public Health Agencies and Experts
Jul 15, 2020
Origin: ASRM Press Release
Open Letter to Policy Makers from the American Society for Reproductive MedicineAs the world continues its struggle with the COVID-19 virus, we grow increasingly concerned about political interference with our public health agencies. As we work with our patients to help them build their families or treat other reproductive disorders, it is essential that we can rely upon the recommendations and data provided by our public health agencies under the stewardship of longstanding public health and medical experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci and his colleagues at the world-renowned National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The data and advice provided by the top-flight professionals there and at agencies including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a vital part of the development of our organization’s recommendations to our members on dealing with COVID-19. We are troubled by reports that there are ongoing efforts to influence those reports through political pressure. In particular, as a professional society focused on human reproduction, we are highly disturbed by reports of attempts to stifle data around pregnancies. Moreover, it is not just CDC. There are reports of similar politicization of data coming out of state and local health departments as well. This is a dangerous and unacceptable trend. We decry the short-sighted decision of the US government to withdraw from the World Health Organization. As a non-state actor in official relations with the WHO, we know firsthand about the vital work of that organization.
COVID-19 is a difficult and deadly opponent. We cannot give it an advantage by ignoring the experts at our public health agencies or accepting manipulation of the data they collect. As we have seen, this virus does not respect international boundaries nor will it be subject to the wishful thinking of politicians. Only by making the best data available to the best scientists and to the public can we hope to control this terrible virus.
-Catherine Racowsky, PhD, President
-Ricardo Azziz, MD, CEO