Serious public health issues await the next POTUS

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

November 2, 2020

As voters go to the polls to select our next commander-in-chief, public health professionals across America are focused on what the president-elect will inherit: a nation in the throes of some of the most difficult and challenging health problems our country has ever faced.

We can’t ignore COVID-19’s impact on youth mental health

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

October 19, 2020

When Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calf.) introduced the Mental Health Services for Students Act back in February 2019, not even she could have imagined how important this bill would be today. Having recently passed the House, it’s now up to the Senate to lead by example and support our nation’s youth, a demographic that has been uniquely impacted by COVID-19. 

France 24 Interview with Dr. Haviland

October 5, 2020 — Dr. Haviland appeared on France 24’s “The Debate” show to discuss public health in the context of President’s Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

The impact of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis on public health

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

October 2, 2020

News today of President Trump’s positive test for COVID-19 should sound the alarm to those who still believe the pandemic is over. Nothing has changed: there is no vaccine, no treatments, and coronavirus respects no boundaries. We must continue to be vigilant, practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash our hands. 

This is a moment for listening to public health professionals — and prioritizing prevention. We must value their guidance over the politicized way their messages are often filtered and renew our commitment to keeping ourselves and those we love safe. 

We have to stop the politicization of public health

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

September 14, 2020

President Trump‘s admission that he sought to “play down” the threat of COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic raises unsettling concerns as to whether the administration values its political success over the health and welfare of the nation. 

The biggest question now as scientists work around the clock to develop a safe and efficacious vaccine: will facts and sound science be allowed to guide the research and testing process? Or will the administration pressure the drug industry and scientific community to accelerate this work, and potentially risk public health, to score political points before election day?

We’re not ready to return to in-class learning

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

August 15, 2020

The Senate’s inability to pass the next COVID-19 relief bill is a not-so-subtle reminder that Washington’s political dysfunction is alive and well. Whether the final bill will include, as the House version did, resources for public education to ensure young Americans can learn in a safe, responsible, fair, and equitable way is unknown. What is clear is that we, as a nation, seem unwilling to accept a difficult fact: America is nowhere near ready for a return to in-class education.

There’s been a lack of leadership surrounding COVID

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

July 30, 2020

In times of crisis, we look to administration officials to lead. … In the case of COVID-19, these officials are entrusted to provide accurate, reliable information we can use to help us stay safe.

We expect them to be transparent and straightforward in their communications, to lead by example, work constructively with our nation’s top scientific minds to address the problem, and design a national plan to try and defeat it. 

None of this is happening.

Trump’s failed COVID response: Managing a pandemic isn’t a states’ rights issue

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

July 7, 2020

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the 50 state approach toward solving the pandemic isn’t working.

Racism’s Plague on Public Health

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

June 22, 2020

COVID-19’s devastating impact on the Black community has been widely known since the very early stages of the pandemic. Yet in a spectacular display of federal foot-dragging, the Department of Health and Human Services waited until June 4th to require the collection of anonymized data regarding the race and ethnicity of those who test positive for coronavirus (which won’t start until Aug. 1). … Why did it take so long for federal agencies to act? Why weren’t minority groups disproportionately affected given priority access to testing and treatment?

We need to trust each other to beat COVID-19

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

June 1, 2020

We need to trust now more than ever before. That’s a difficult task considering that a majority of Americans today distrust the government when it comes to protecting their health. Countries like South Korea and Sweden have demonstrated that controlling the spread of coronavirus is easier when citizens respect their governments. The fact the U.S. has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world is a sign that we don’t trust our government and we are not following simple guidance from public health experts.