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'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Nation’s Leading Health Experts Urge GSA Administrator to Immediately Begin Presidential Transition

Experts Warn that Every Day the Transition is Delayed Puts American Lives at Risk Amid the Pandemic

Amid surging COVID-19 cases nationwide, over 140 former public health officials, public health and medical school deans, and public health and medical experts and researchers are sounding the alarm today in a letter to General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy.

“Refusing to ascertain Biden as President-elect means the transition team must plan for a crisis response without access to essential information about vaccine development, the nation’s supply chains for protective equipment and testing supplies, and coordination with federal, state, and local authorities,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “The costs are clear: delays mean more Americans will suffer and die.”

The letter warns that further delays in the presidential transition process will risk the lives of many more Americans. Murphy’s refusal to ascertain Joe Biden as President-elect has hindered the presidential transition team from liaising with key health officials in the Trump Administration and prevents the incoming administration from developing a robust, coordinated response to the pandemic. View the letter and the signatories here.

Notable signatories available for interview include Georges Benjamin (Executive Director of the American Public Health Association), Leana Wen (Former Health Commissioner of Baltimore), Perry Halkitis (Dean and Professor of Biostatistics and Urban-Global Public Health at the School of Public Health at Rutgers University), and Sten Vermund (Dean, Yale School of Public Health).

“A seamless transition is necessary to ensure that the incoming administration is prepared to confront the COVID-19 pandemic from day one,” said Dr. Peter G. Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Administrator Murphy must fulfill this responsibility immediately, as every extra day of delay can only add to the death toll.”

Coordination between administrations is critical to the Biden team’s ability to prepare plans for vaccine distribution and development, fully understand the current capacity for testing and contact tracing, develop specific mitigation strategies for businesses and schools, assess the national production capacity and supply chains for essential medications and protective equipment, gauge hospital bed and intensive care unit capacity, and much more.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School, Protect Democracy and Public Citizen are responsible for organizing this letter.


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Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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