Statement from the Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, David C. Harvey
“We call upon President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris to confront a coronavirus pandemic that is spinning out of control and restore trust in our public health system. We are encouraged they bring both a healthy respect for science and a commitment to ending the racial health inequities that COVID-19 has spotlighted so harshly.
In its first months, a Biden administration needs to finally harness the full strength of our nation’s public health workforce, including STD prevention programs and Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS). Their deep well of expertise – in contact tracing, community education, testing, and more – will be essential to end the pandemic, even after effective vaccines come online. We also need immediate federal action and investments to head off increases in STD rates, which were at record highs even before the pandemic. With public health workers redeployed to trace coronavirus cases, health departments have been forced to place HIV and STD testing on the back burner.
Looking ahead, a Biden administration and Congress must revitalize America’s overburdened public health system. Federal, state, and local STD programs will need major investments to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and reverse decades of shrinking budgets. Newly expanded contact tracing capabilities will need to be maintained, both to reduce STD rates and to head off future disease pandemics. The new Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan will need the full backing of the Biden Administration in order to succeed.
NCSD congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic election. We look forward to working together to confront the public health crises of the moment and reduce the toll of STDs in every community.”
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight U.S. territories. Our mission is to advance effective STD prevention programs and services across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. Go to ncsddc.org for more information.