News

If Congress can’t work together to address child hunger we’re doomed

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

May 12, 2021

TheHill.com

President Biden has made it abundantly clear that improving the lives of children will be a focal point of his administration. Just weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new initiative that stands to feed over 30 million needy children this summer. And the centerpiece of his proposed American Families Plan is a bold investment in the future of America’s youth by expanding access to early education and child care, and providing economic relief to families through child tax credit extensions.

Another provision of the American Families Plan addresses a critical need the pandemic has further magnified. But it’s one Republicans have historically opposed: expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Whether this increase will survive will depend largely on bipartisan efforts to resolve the national tragedy of food insecurity.

We need laws to stop gun violence, but we need to stop glorifying it, too

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

April 20, 2021

TheHill.com

Eight innocent people were killed Friday at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, the latest in a deadly string of mass shootings across the country. There have been at least 156 of them already this year.  … We need to be outraged, not apathetic, when innocent people are killed by gun violence. We need to bristle at, not be enamored by, guns that are routinely dramatized in action movies, video games, music videos and television shows. The less we venerate gun violence in the imagery we see everyday, the less common and familiar it will become. 

We don’t need moments of silence for victims and their families after the next mass shooting. We need actions to reduce the number of guns on the streets and in the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. It will take more than what any individual law in Congress can enforce. It starts by confronting the role guns have in our culture. 

We need to stop glorifying gun violence before we have any chance of ending it. 

Lyndon Haviland confirmed to serve on Board of Regents at Western New Mexico University

“Twenty-five highly-qualified New Mexicans have been nominated by Gov. Lujan Grisham and confirmed by the State Senate to serve on Boards of Regents at public colleges, universities, and special schools across the state.” Full text of the announcement from the New Mexico Higher Education Department at the link below. 

Biden: Declare child sexual abuse a public health emergency

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

April 2, 2021

TheHill.com

Last week a group of child health advocates signed an open letter urging President Biden to recognize April 8 as World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Healing and Justice. The group is also calling on Biden to create a Presidential Commission to End Sexual Violence Against Children, comprised of “experts including researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and, importantly, adult survivors.” The group is urging Biden to establish the new commission within the first 200 days of his administration. The cosigners, me being one of them, are asking Biden to shine a national spotlight on a topic that has long been considered too taboo for an open discussion — child sexual abuse. 

COVID-19 homelessness is a public health problem – it’s about to get worse

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

March 22, 2021

TheHill.com

As we mark the one year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the pandemic, we can see signs of long awaited progress. There’s still work to do, but there’s undeniable excitement that we’re headed in the right direction. For America’s homeless, however, there will be little celebration when we reach herd immunity.

Solving the unequal impacts of COVID-19

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

March 4, 2021

TheHill.com

The 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 is a sobering milestone symbolizing America’s failed, 50-state approach in combatting the pandemic. … For the living, the pandemic has revealed stark inequities in accessing the fundamental tools necessary to survive a crisis like this. The ability to stay connected, consume healthy food and receive important health-related services are at the top of the list. 

President Biden: Make equitable vaccine access a national priority

February 12, 2021

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

TheHill.com

This week brought encouraging news that nearly 9.1 percent of the U.S. population has already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. … But an ugly truth lurks beneath the surface of these promising data points: the glaring racial disparity between those who are receiving vaccine shots and those who are not.

Dr. Haviland Interview With The Dan Proft Radio Show

January 28, 2021

Dr. Haviland commented on the current state of vaccine distribution: “Many states have had a little chaos where they were planning for a certain number of vaccinations, and the vaccine supplies have not arrived. It’s very encouraging that the Biden administration has increased their order for vaccines …” (Link to the full interview below)

We need a science-based plan for vaccine distribution

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

1.22.21

TheHill.com

Outgoing Health and Human Services (HHS) Sec. Alex Azar announced last week the U.S. would soon distribute our COVID-19 vaccine stockpile to try and accelerate the pace of U.S. immunizations. 

We now know this reserve has already been depleted and that every available dose is being taken directly from the production line and put into circulation. 

The threat this aggressive strategy presents to public health safety is extraordinary. … Anything that risks a delay in the delivery of a second shot gambles our future. It rests on a belief that, with vaccine production on the rise, the reserve can reach more people. Yet we simply don’t know if manufacturers will have enough time to keep pace and generate more doses for those on-the-clock to receive the second shot.

Military Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Deserve More

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

December 26, 2020

TheHill.com

U.S. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy made headlines this month when he reacted to the findings of an investigation into the climate of violence and sexual harassment at Fort Hood, Texas. “This report, without a doubt,” he said, “will cause the Army to change our culture.” 

If the secretary is true to his word, he will also commit to dismantling the cover-up culture of child sexual abuse at Army posts both here and abroad. The secretaries of the Navy and Air Force should commit to do the same.