US Healthcare Providers for Federal Action Against COVID-19

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March 15, 2020


To President Trump, Vice President Pence and the Congress of the United States of America:

We are physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists in the United States of America on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We aim to end the crisis quickly, with minimal loss of life while keeping our healthcare workers safe. To this end we urgently implore the following three actions:

1. Immediately implement a national quarantine. This includes closing non-essential businesses and a quarantine of all citizens, with allowances for seeking healthcare and essential resources such as food and medications. Such quarantines have been implemented in several other countries around the world experiencing this crisis. The evidence shows that without access to widespread COVID-19 testing, a national quarantine is the best way to slow the spread of the disease. While a national quarantine will be economically straining, the pandemic requires shared sacrifice as a nation to contain the spread of COVID-19. We must take immediate action.

2. Emergently produce and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers. Healthcare providers cannot care for patients without adequate personal protective equipment to prevent infection. Many hospital systems across the country are projected to run out of PPE quickly as the crisis worsens. Without sufficient PPE, we cannot safely provide care, more healthcare providers will become infected, and patient care will suffer.

3. Urgently increase access to testing for COVID-19. The current limitations on testing patients for COVID-19 mean we cannot appropriately triage and treat our patients. It means we are inefficiently and ineffectively using our limited PPE supply and increasing exposure to healthcare workers. We must be able to identify and quarantine those who are mildly infected or have only minimal symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to high-risk populations. We need rapid and widely accessible testing to care for these patients and slow the spread of COVID-19.

This is a defining moment in our history and in the leadership of our country. An immediate national quarantine has been proven repeatedly to save lives worldwide. The protection of healthcare workers and adequate testing will help ensure that the healthcare system does not become overwhelmed as the crisis worsens and allow us to direct medical care appropriately and efficiently.  We will clearly see the benefits of these decisive measures over the coming weeks. As healthcare providers, we cannot fight this pandemic without your help.

Help us.