PA docs tell a visiting Trump to boost anemic U.S. testing rate before reopening economy
NOTE: The physicians below are speaking in their capacity as members of the Committee to Protect Medicare. They should be identified only as indicated in this news release.
PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania doctors with the Committee to Protect Medicare (CTP) today produced a letter calling on President Trump to use his visit to the state to explain how he plans to ramp nationwide COVID-19 testing and get more protective equipment to frontline health workers before reopening the economy.
Max Cooper, MD, an emergency physician in southeastern Pennsylvania and the Committee to Protect Medicare’s Pennsylvania State Lead, said: “Pennsylvanians are doing the right thing to keep themselves and others safe, by keeping their distance and wearing masks even if President Trump refuses to lead by example. The patients I talk to understandably want to resume their lives and they want a safe, responsible strategy to reopen our economy, not chaotic tweets and mixed messages that confuse and divide people. The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians are rightly concerned that President Trump is hastily forcing Pennsylvanians back to workplaces without safety guidelines, which will lead to more infections, more sickness and more deaths.”
The physicians with CTP warn that his actions threaten the health of workers at Owens & Minor’s medical distribution facility in Upper Macungie Township if he refuses to wear a mask. Trump has repeatedly refused to wear a mask to reduce COVID-19 transmissions despite recommendations from health experts, and public support for wearing masks, including from Republicans. Research shows that wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of transmitting COVID-19, which can be spread through sneezing, coughing and even breathing.
“President Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania is too little, too late and should be seen for what it is: an election-year photo op that does nothing to address our anemic testing rate or keep people safe,” said Aimee Johnson, MD, a pediatrician in Lower Macungie. “Pennsylvania requires individuals to wear masks in public and if President Trump refuses to wear a mask to keep the workers at Owens and Minor safe, he should not be allowed to visit at all. President Trump’s failure to prepare for this pandemic and his ongoing push to prematurely reopen the economy puts an undue burden on the children I care for, whose parents and teachers have gotten sick and who have been separated from their friends, teachers and community.”
As public health experts caution against reopening the economy without a massive testing-and-tracing strategy, the Trump Administration has failed to produce a plan to increase nationwide testing from 300,000 a day to more than 1 million.
“Doctors and frontline health workers have repeatedly called on President Trump to give us the protective equipment and the tests we need to keep people safe, especially as Pennsylvania and other states start to reopen,” said Ritu Thamman, MD, a cardiologist in Pittsburgh. “Doctors and nurses need more masks, not election-year photo ops of President Trump with people who make the masks we need, but the actual masks themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed the lives of more than 80,000 Americans, including more than 3,400 Pennsylvanians, and doctors don’t have time for political theater.”
*Click here to view the signatories and letter from Pennsylvania physicians to President Trump
About the Committee to Protect Medicare
The Committee to Protect Medicare is an advocacy organization made up of frontline doctors engaging in direct advocacy and communications in support of a stronger healthcare system in America. To learn more: https://committeetoprotect.org/
CONTACT: Az Ibrahim, 616-227-1940, email@example.com