The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is a national medical society representing more than 4,000 occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) physicians and other health care professionals who champion safe workplaces, healthy workers, and a healthy and sustainable environment. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is foremost in the minds of our members as they labor to protect the workforce, and advise employers working to manage safety and health during this crisis. As health specialists in the area of preventive medicine, we understand that minimizing the impact of the pandemic requires coordinated efforts of all segments of society, in all parts of the world.
By definition, a pandemic is an international event. With global supply chains, loss of any link can create turmoil. Given the economic interdependence of nations and their workforces in the 21st century, only truly international solutions will resolve the current crisis. This requires close coordination of national governments, health systems, and their respective societies — acting on the advice of public health scientists.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with directing international health, and leading partners in global health responses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has traditionally worked closely with WHO in carrying out its mission. Continued close cooperation of these agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere is necessary for the protection of Americans. It is essential to the health of the employees for whom ACOEM physicians are responsible, and to the business interests of their employers, that we maintain and support a strong international entity to help coordinate a global response.
On the behalf of all of the world's employees and employers, ACOEM recommends that the White House reconsider its defunding of the World Health Organization and seek other ways in the U.S. can help support this vital organization.
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is an international society of 4,000 occupational and environmental physicians and other health care professionals. The College provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. ACOEM maintains a database of physicians available to consult with businesses regarding COVID-19.