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Internists Say Administration’s Increased Efforts Quickly Needed in Fight Against COVID

Statement attributable to:
Thomas G. Cooney, MD, MACP
Chair, Board of Regents
American College of Physicians

WASHINGTON, D.C. December 21, 2021 –The American College of Physicians (ACP) believes that the additional actions announced by President Biden this afternoon to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic are essential. As we have watched the rise in infections over recent days, we have been increasingly alarmed about both the health of the public, as well as the health of our health care system and workers. We appreciate that the administration’s plans include multiple tactics that will help to mitigate the spread of infections and support physicians and other health care professionals. Vaccinations alone will not control this pandemic, especially as we confront newer, more infectious variants. Vaccinations, boosters, masking, testing, and tracking all need to work in concert with each other to be most effective. Our physicians and health care facilities also need the additional support measures outlined by President Biden to continue to be able to provide care, as we expect to see the number of patients seeking treatment for COVID-19 infections increase, putting additional strain on an already burdened health care system.

We urge the administration to work as quickly as possible to disseminate this additional federal support. Cases have been rising exponentially and by January infection rates are likely to be at a crisis point in much of the country.

Additionally, increasing testing is of the utmost importance in the current moment. We caution, though, that the use of home testing means that infection rates may be considerably higher than realized because the results of at-home, rapid tests are not captured in data reporting to public health agencies.

ACP has been working over the course of the pandemic to support physicians as they work tirelessly to treat the patients who need them. We have also been working to educate the public about the importance of employing measures to slow the spread of infections, providing strategies to help combat health misinformation around vaccines and in particular, the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. This includes a series of videos, Ask Your Internist, ACP’s new patient-facing series featuring physicians who answer the public's top vaccine-related questions and Physician to Physician Conversations, a clinician-facing series featuring practical approaches to address vaccine and health misinformation with patients.

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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 161,000 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.

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