Statement attributable to:
Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A.
President, American Medical Association
“The American Medical Association (AMA) believes decisions about public health should be made based on science, evidence and data. Scientists and public health experts continue to urge physical distancing as the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment. Reducing or eliminating physical distancing policies prematurely—and without robust monitoring and testing in place—would likely result in a resurgence of COVID-19 that would inflict widespread illness and still more death.
“To minimize the risk of another surge in COVID-19 infections and to ensure our health system’s capacity to care for newly infected patients, the AMA believes the following are required before relaxing physical distancing policies:
- Minimal risk of community transmission based on sustained evidence of a downward trend in new cases and fatalities
- A robust, coordinated and well-supplied testing network
- A well-resourced public health system for surveillance and contact tracing
- Fully resourced hospitals and health care workforce
“People in our country should be confident that decisions are being made with public health as the top consideration. We continue to urge the federal government and private sector to scale testing to the level where we can have immediate and actionable information about the prevalence of the virus to safely send people back to work, school and the activities they enjoyed before COVID-19.”
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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.