CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) released the following statement after HHS Sec. Alex Azar said he believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the ability to conduct gun violence research and that they “certainly will.”

“Gun violence today is a public health crisis in the United States; it knows no geographic, political or social bounds,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “We agree with Secretary Azar that the CDC has the authority to conduct this critical research into gun violence and they should begin their work immediately. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital to address this public health crisis so our society can take action and prevent injury, death and other harms resulting from firearms.

“As in any urgent public health threat, we cannot devise effective solutions until we have a deeper understanding of the underlying causes that prompt gun violence. With more than 30,000 Americans dying each year from gun violence and firearm-related accidents, the time to act is now.”

In the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., Dr. Barbe also released a column titled, “Action to address gun violence is long overdue.”

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.