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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

SFMMS President Dr. Brian Grady, M.D.: An Open Letter to the AMA - Disinfecting the White House?

Dear Colleagues:

We write with a sense of alarmed urgency, in the midst of a terrible pandemic, about the clearly counterproductive messaging, practices, and policies of our current White House, and urge the AMA to speak out forcefully in the interest of the nation’s health. The crisis is now at a point where partisan politics should no longer matter, but medical, scientific, and public health standards and practices still should and do.

President Donald Trump’s current Covid infection could provide a learning opportunity for Americans, but instead has been turned into a destructive debacle. He has now advised the nation “Don’t be afraid” of Covid - the opposite of what any responsible message from a leader should be. While not fostering fear or panic, it is imperative that we take this outbreak more seriously than this. It is now clear that he and his inner circle were aware of his infection but still acted in ways that spread the virus, with a growing number of people infected. They are neglecting needed notification and contact tracing as well. The secrecy regarding his status and treatment exceeds confidentiality requirements, especially for any President, whose health and mental status can be crucial to the welfare of so many. This administration’s broader health proposals related to Covid very often run counter to established science, medical standards, and the considered policies of many established medical organizations, including the AMA. He has shunned masks (even mocking another Presidential candidate for wearing one), held and encouraged mass gatherings without protections, advocated unproven and questionable therapies, pushed for unsafe vaccine development and approval time-lines, counterproductively meddled in FDA and CDC policy-making in practices, worked to get rid of the ACA (which was endorsed by the AMA), defunded the WHO, pulled out of cli-mate and other important environmental health compacts, and much more, all going against the professional advice and consensus of experts with the most expertise in such matters.

Our 152-year old medical society does not endorse or oppose specific political figures, but strongly does advocate for sound, evidence-based health and medical policy. It is undeniable that our current President is very often in conflict with such standards. Donald Trump may or may not be president for much longer, but for the time being we are in a crisis of confidence and credibility with respect to his Presidency, and feel strongly that it is certainly time for the AMA, as the leading voice of our nation’s physicians, to forcefully speak out for science, public health, and compassion on these matters, and to make those values known to all of our elected leaders and the public. We respectfully hope for new and strong public statements in the form of media releases and press conferences to counter the harmful impacts of the Trump administration. Thank you for your consideration.

Brian Grady, MD


San Francisco Marin Medical Society

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