As you read this, we still do not know who will occupy the White House for the next four years. This uncertainty can be unnerving, but I’m reaching out to you to make sure you know that, regardless of the outcome, we at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have a formidable roadmap to chart our way forward.
Together with our supporters, PHR has built an incredibly powerful movement of physicians, nurses, social workers, public health experts, and scientists – exceptional, dedicated professionals who have been on the front lines, protecting fundamental human rights in unprecedented ways.
Over the past four years, PHR’s membership has skyrocketed, and so has our impact. Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, our extraordinary network has prioritized a science-based approach to ensure that the public knows the facts about the pandemic. Medicine, at its best, is about truth, about listening deeply and understanding. It is about respect for people when they are at their most vulnerable.
From exposing the tremendous psychological and physical suffering of migrant children and families separated at the U.S. border, to highlighting the catastrophic health impacts of systemic racism, to sounding the alarm about the dangers of a U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization – never have the voices and skills of health workers been so critical in informing our understanding of issues and so powerful in mounting a call for justice, in the United States and around the world.
These health professionals and scientists have become some of our most trusted leaders today.
After so much abuse and loss, PHR is clear-eyed about the fact that it will take much more than one election to heal the nation and safeguard human rights for the years to come.
So here we are – and we’ve got work to do.
That is why, today, PHR is committing to making a major investment in growing our network. We know that health professionals will play a critical role in the future we want to build and we need a powerful new wave of human rights advocates to bring their unique skills and voices to the great challenges that lie ahead.
The United States should NEVER be a country that puts children in cages and takes them from parents, or that bans the free movement of Muslims, or puts our health workers’ lives at risk because of politics. And we should not and cannot be a country that turns our back on science and a global community facing an historic pandemic.
We have seen the profound role that truth, evidence, and science play in fundamentally changing the conversation when it comes to human rights and in advocating for vulnerable communities. And there is no question that, moving forward in the weeks and months to come, health professionals and the medical and scientific community will be one of the most trusted and influential groups leading the call for change, providing leadership during the pandemic, and protecting the human rights of all people.
In the days ahead we must focus on ensuring that all votes are counted, but regardless of the final outcome, I look forward to working side by side with you as we chart a path forward together.
Thank you for everything you do and for being a part of this dynamic and influential community.