The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) issued the following statement on the urgent need to allow the Biden-Harris transition team access to federal government efforts to combat the coronavirus:
“On behalf of the teaching hospitals, physicians and other clinicians, scientists, and other health experts on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the AAMC urges the Trump administration to enable members of the Biden-Harris transition team to engage formally with current federal officials across the government regarding ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic.
The unprecedented scope and magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis has necessitated a wide-scale response from the federal government, from securing supplies and equipment for health professionals as hospitals activate their surge plans, to supporting state and local officials as they develop guidance for local businesses to operate safely, implement testing plans, and deploy potential countermeasures as quickly and efficiently as possible. As winter approaches, new cases and hospitalizations are reaching new highs around the country, and models predict continuing exponential growth as well as increases in deaths.
To contain the pandemic and guard against its further spread, it is essential to ensure that the federal government is maximally prepared at all times to levy an unflinching response. Insights into the efforts underway today will be critical to inform decision-making in January and beyond that will affect everyone in the country. For example, seamless information exchange about current efforts is vital to successfully launch comprehensive and equitable vaccination distribution. Likewise, an understanding of how the federal government is monitoring and addressing shortages of supplies and equipment, such as ventilators, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines, and swabs during the current surge will better prepare the nation to avoid depleted stockpiles moving forward.
The AAMC represents health care professionals and health systems, as well as scientists most involved in the day-to-day struggle against COVID-19. We know there is not a moment to spare as the virus rages. Connecting current members of the administration with members of the Biden-Harris transition team would guard against lapses in the national response moving forward and amplify and expand the current administration’s work with additional expertise at a time when we need a collective, unified effort. We urge the current administration to enable members of the Biden-Harris transition to begin formal participation in the federal government’s COVID-19 planning without further delay.”