AMA president Dr. Patrice Harris urges public health experts to rely on science during pandemic

The American Medical Association President Patrice Harris, MD, gave a national address April 7 on the need for the nation to rely on science and data to protect public health in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are four takeaways:

1. While there is a lot of information on COVID-19, physicians are still working to discover more about the virus. Based on the information known, what is clear is that people need to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus, said Dr. Harris.

2. "Everyone has a role to play" when battling this pandemic, Dr. Harris said. It can't be just on physicians and front-line providers to be responsible for fighting COVID-19.

3. Public officials should mimic how hospitals and other health experts on the East Coast and in other hard-hit areas to learn how to best respond to COVID-19. Additionally, when policies are in place, cities should continue operating under these standards until the virus has been managed.

4. The AMA is calling on all public health experts to emphasize science and evidence-backed data when making statements about the virus. Additionally, tech companies have been called on to use science and evidence when creating COVID-19 solutions.

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