Dr. Benjamin testifies




APHA spoke out on science, public health and how the nation can prepare for future pandemics before a House subcommittee examining the nation’s COVID-19 policy decisions this week.

On Feb. 28, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, shared expert information with the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic regarding decisions U.S. leaders made to protect the health and lives of Americans during the deadly pandemic. Serving on a four-member panel of medical professionals, Benjamin answered questions on vaccines, misinformation, research, public health infrastructure and more. 

Benjamin advised legislators to keep in mind that policy decisions during the pandemic were made based on the sometimes-limited information that was available at the time. What’s been learned throughout the pandemic can be used to influence policies going forward, he said.

“Now that the pandemic is entering a new, less aggressive phase, we should take a critical look at the events, activities and policy decisions we have made to enhance our ability to prepare for and respond to emerging infectious diseases of pandemic potential in the future,” Benjamin said in his written statement. “We believe creating a bipartisan national commission to understand the full scope of this pandemic, from preparedness to response, is the appropriate way to address this need.”

The subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on March 8 with witnesses that include Robert Redfield, MD, who served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the first year of the pandemic. 

Watch a recording of the Feb. 28 subcommittee roundtable online.