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Words Matter: From the ASTDA President

STDPO News on December 20, 2017 at 04:49:57 PM
The words purportedly banned last week from the budget processes affecting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are ones that should capture the attention of every ASTDA member.*  Yesterday, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald - CDC Director - issued a statement noting CDC's ongoing commitment "...to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution."

Words matter, but the protection of an institution committed to public health as a human right and based in social justice must be enacted as well as spoken, and CDC cannot stand alone in this commitment. This year has seen a steady abrogation of gender, sexual, and reproductive health services available to the full diversity of the peoples of the United States. In many instances, this suppression of public health is accompanied by a rhetoric of violence - implied and explicit - that leaves little to the imagination of worse to come. It is increasingly clear that inaction is a form of complicity with a willful public health disaster.
 
See the full letter below: 
 

Words Matter

The words purportedly banned last week from the budget processes affecting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are ones that should capture the attention of every ASTDA member.*  Yesterday, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald - CDC Director - issued a statement noting CDC's ongoing commitment "...to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution."

Words matter, but the protection of an institution committed to public health as a human right and based in social justice must be enacted as well as spoken, and CDC cannot stand alone in this commitment. This year has seen a steady abrogation of gender, sexual, and reproductive health services available to the full diversity of the peoples of the United States. In many instances, this suppression of public health is accompanied by a rhetoric of violence - implied and explicit - that leaves little to the imagination of worse to come. It is increasingly clear that inaction is a form of complicity with a willful public health disaster.

As members of a global scientific and public health community, I urge all of you to work to protect CDC's capacity to serve public through science. We can laud Dr. Fitzgerald's reassurances while acknowledging real efforts of silencing, marginalizing, and erasing important members of the communities we serve. Each of us has influence in our cities and states to assure that gender, sexual, and reproductive public health is protected locally. Each of us has a voice nationally with our elected representatives and senators. Collectively, we can continue to join with others to make a case that politicized public health institutions harm all of us.  We urge you to use that voice and do not sit in silence during this crucial period in our history as a nation.


Best regards,


J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD
President
American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

 
 

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