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Internists Call Biden Administration Actions to Protect Scientific Integrity, Combat Climate Change Promising Sign

Statement attributable to:

Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP

President, American College of Physicians

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2021 — The presidential memorandum that was issued today directing federal agencies to prioritize science and data in their work is a promising sign of the Biden administration’s willingness to listen to scientists, physicians, and other experts when developing policy and programs. The American College of Physicians (ACP) bases our own guidance to our members and other physicians on the evidence available on a given topic, and we are glad to see President Biden acknowledging the important role that evidence must have in guiding our country. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic ACP has repeatedly called for protecting science and public officials from political interference. We are facing a moment of crisis in this country due to the COVID-19 pandemic; we need data and evidence to guide us through. Today’s announcement will help with that, but it will also help to protect the scientists working to combat climate change and the threat that places on human health, as well as a host of other issues where science must inform public policy.

Related to that, ACP also applauds the executive order issued to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. As physicians, we are deeply concerned about the severe, negative impact our world’s changing climate has on human health. We agree with this executive order that the federal government must recommit to tackling climate change, develop new targets to meet our Paris Agreement responsibilities, inform communities about how they can prepare for the effects of climate change, facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy, and enhance efforts to achieve environmental justice for vulnerable communities.

The announcements from President Biden today assure us that our federal officials will follow the evidence and the science in our current crises and in the future.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.