800,000 Physicians Pen Letter Asking Trump Not to Lift Social Distancing Guidelines Too Early


In a letter to President Donald Trump, a group of 800,000 physicians urged the president not to end social distancing guidelines before experts say it is safe.

The letter, drafted by the Council of Medical Speciality Societies (CMSS), was addressed to Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx.

CMSS told the leaders of the coronavirus response that “we need your leadership in supporting science-based recommendations on social distancing that can slow the virus.”

“Our societies have closely adhered to these measures by moving our staff to fulltime telework and canceling in-person meetings (including annual meetings). These actions have helped to keep physicians and other health professionals in health care facilities, including hospitals, and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Statewide efforts alone will not sufficiently control this public health crisis.”

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The letter comes as Trump expresses his desire to reopen the country as soon as Easter. Trump has said that “we can’t let the cure be worse than the problem.” The administration is even considering issuing new social distancing guidelines that vary state to state and county to county.

“Americans across the country are hoping the day will soon arrive when they can resume their normal economic, social, and religious lives,” Trump said.

The CMSS physicians, however, seem to be urging the president to reconsider.

“Federal, state, and local governments should only set a date for lifting nationwide social distancing restrictions consistent with assessments by public health and medical experts,” they wrote. “Lifting restrictions sooner will gravely jeopardize the health of all Americans and extend the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The letter was signed by 800,000 physicians across 40 specialties in medicine.

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Isaac Saul is a senior politics reporter, editor and founding member at A Plus, the positive news oulet founded by Ashton Kutcher. He also writes the independent, non-partisan, ad-free politics newsletter Tangle. His reporting focuses on Congress, elections, immigration and climate change. His writing has appeared in CNN, The New York Daily News, The Forward, Yahoo!, The Huffington Post, Quartz, and been cited by The Washington Post, The New York Times and Fox News, among others. Before A Plus, he was an Associate Editor at The Huffington Post and the sports editor at The Pitt News.

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