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As US reaches 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, public health is needed more than ever

Date: Jul 08 2020

Contact: Media Relations 

Statement from APHA Executive Director George C. Benjamin, MD

Picture Chicago, a city of almost 3 million people — 3 million.

That’s how many confirmed novel coronavirus cases have been reported in the U.S.  A few months ago, that would have seemed far-fetched, and six months ago, unbelievable. But now, it’s our shocking reality.

Americans account for more than 1 out of 5 coronavirus deaths reported around the world. This is a wake-up call to the nation’s leaders. We must embrace the best of public health to steer us in the right direction before we sink further.

We cannot rely on boasts or wishful thinking. Science must lead the way. Tried and true best practices such as widespread testing, infection control and contact tracing are critically important. We must support and bolster public health to bring COVID-19 to a halt.

We are still in the first wave of the infection. As we look ahead to the coming months, we must strategically work together to stem the virus and once again gain some footing.

We need everyone to do their part: Wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash your hands. Follow science-based guidance on how to protect yourself, your family and your community. Only by working together and staying the course can we bring this outbreak to a halt.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.