TAGline Spring 2017
With every major election, particularly one that secures or fortifies Republican control of the White House, Senate, or House of Representatives, a certain amount of worry and strategy realignment is to be expected from public health activists and civil society. Following one of the biggest upsets in political history, in which Donald Trump rode a wave of populist and nationalist sentiments to become the 45th president of the United States and all but guaranteed a right-wing trifecta, the concern among health justice leaders has been unprecedented.
And rightfully so. Anxieties regarding government underinvestment in public health—basic and clinical research, international aid, domestic healthcare infrastructure, and various federally funded programs needed to support health outcomes—are heightened once again. In addition, we must now contend with executive and legislative branches bent on scaling back statutes and regulations that are key to human wellness and survival on the basis of, in no small part, willful disregard for science and evidence-based policy making.
Progress made in the arenas of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) over the past several years has been significant, to the point at which strategies to end all three epidemics have not only been envisioned, but actualized. But these gains are incredibly fragile and will diminish swiftly in the absence of federal nurturing and support.
TAG remains committed to the capacity building, coalition strengthening, and direct advocacy required to maintain forward momentum in a federal political climate that isn’t merely indifferent to public health, but is ultimately hostile to its efforts and the communities that it benefits.
In the April 2017 issue of TAGline, we chart the course ahead and touch on some of our overarching priorities in the coming months and years:
- Lessons from History for Today’s HIV Response
Maintaining and expanding the accomplishments of the past depend on a fight for their survival and growth—now more than ever
By Mark Harrington
- Just the Facts: Trump and the Devaluation of Science
Mobilizing to defend biomedical research investments and scientific integrity as essential for public health, safety, and well-being
By Kenyon Farrow and Mike Frick
- Wrangling Affordable Drug Pricing and HCV Elimination Under the New White House Administration
Trump’s early tough talk on drug pricing is now a pro-industry, anti-regulation GOP dreamscape
By Bryn Gay
- Resisting the Coming Austerity: Medicaid in the Crosshairs
Lingering Republican threats to the ACA and Medicaid do no favors for America’s working poor
By Annette Gaudino
- Breaking Down Walls in Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric
How the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant stance threatens human rights, public health, and the lives of people living with TB
By Erica Lessem and Suraj Madoori
- The New War on Drugs
The 21st Century Cures Act and a right-wing war on regulations are direct threats to FDA evidentiary requirements for drugs, biologics, and devices
By Tim Horn and Suraj Madoori
We remain in solidarity with our allies who have long fought battles to secure funding for basic and clinical research, reverse stigmatizing and discriminatory policies, stare down pharmaceutical industry greed, and push for programs to ensure equitable access to treatment and care. Although the challenges now go broader and deeper than ever before, we stand stronger than ever in a fight that has yielded monumental victories in the past and will continue to do so in the future. A luta continua, a vitória é certa.