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Provider groups urge Trump to share COVID-19 information with Biden transition team

Many fear that a lack of cooperation between the two administrations could slow the rollout of vaccines and ultimately lead to more deaths.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

In a joint letter sent Tuesday, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association implored President Trump to work with and share critical COVID-19 information with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.

The letter urged the Trump administration to share up-to-date information regarding the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability with the incoming administration.

Additionally, the provider organizations called for the capacity of the Strategic National Stockpile, the assets from Operation Warp Speed and plans for dissemination of therapeutics and vaccines to be shared "as quickly as possible" to allow for strategic planning to continue.

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The letter was signed by AHA president and CEO Richard Pollack, AMA CEO and EVP James Madara, and ANA acting CEO Debbie Dawson Hatmaker.

WHY THIS MATTERS

This call to action comes as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase nationwide.

On November 9, the U.S. reached the grim milestone of 10 million COVID-19 cases. Less than a week later, one million new cases were counted, bringing the total number of cases to more than 11 million, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many fear that a lack of cooperation between the two administrations could slow the rollout of vaccines and ultimately lead to more deaths.

"More people may die if we don't coordinate," Biden told reporters Monday in Delaware.

THE LARGER TREND

Although officials still say a vaccine is still months away for most Americans, two vaccines and two therapeutics could be approved by the end of the year.

Last week, Pfizer, in partnership with German company BioNTech, announced that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing the coronavirus in participants without prior infection. Following that, Moderna announced on Monday that its candidate shows an efficacy of 94.5%.

In addition to the announcements about the effectiveness of these two potential vaccines, the Food and Drug Association approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) and granted Emergency Use Authorization for the monoclonal antibody treatment bamlanivimab.

Since former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election, he has announced the formation of a COVID-19 advisory board.

President Trump has yet to accept the election results. More than two dozen lawsuits related to the election have been filed on issues ranging from mail-in ballot extensions, to procedures for correcting ballots that initially omitted key information, to the rules about observing the vote count, according to The Hill.

ON THE RECORD

"As providers of care for all Americans, we see the suffering that is occurring in our communities due to COVID-19," the letter said. "We see families who have lost both parents from COVID- 19; we see children suffering from long-term effects due to a COVID-19 infection; and we see minority populations disproportionately suffering from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is from this frontline human perspective that we urge you to share critical data and information as soon as possible."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org