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One of the cornerstones of TAG’s work is weighing in on mission-related issues by sending comment letters to a variety of organizations, including Federal agencies, Senate and House committees, Pharmaceutical companies, and the WHO. Various staff members also frequently testify in person at committee hearings, and submit written testimony.

2020 Letters

Letter to Sanofi CEO Calling for Patent Withdrawals on Critical TB Drugs
August 3, 2020 — TAG and our French partners OTMeds (Observatoire de la transparence dans les politiques du médicaments) sent a letter to Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson calling on the company to reverse its efforts to patent two obvious combinations of two critical drugs to prevent tuberculosis: rifapentine and isoniazid.

Community Letter on COVID-19 Data Transparency and CDC Reform
July 27, 2020 — TAG signed this letter from HIV organizations strongly recommending that the Administration reverse its decision to bypass the CDC in the collection & analysis of COVID-19 patient data, and that CDC internally address a culture of institutional racism described in a letter from 1,200 CDC employees to Dir. Robert Redfield.

Petition to NYC Board of Health to Commence Emergency Rulemaking to Make Concrete Rules to End Racism As Public Health Peril
June 25, 2020 — On June 25, 2020, the National Black Leadership Commission on Health, the Latino Commission on AIDS, Housing Works, and TAG petitioned the New York City Board of Health to institute concrete rules to end racism as a public health crisis in New York City. TAG and partners called on the Board of Health to convene an emergency session to adopt new rules, amendments, and policies to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx New Yorkers, address racism as a public health crisis, address over-policing, and improve public health and safety.

Letter to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Regarding COVID-19 and the Right to Science
June 23, 2020 — TAG sent this letter calling on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Human Rights Council (HRC) to explicitly acknowledge the human rights dimensions of science and reaffirm the right of everyone to participate in and enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications in all of its work on COVID-19.

Appeal to UAE Authorities to Release Prisoners with HIV Vulnerable to COVID-19
May 15, 2020 — On May 18th, TAG and 46 other organizations and individuals – including the Stop TB Partnership, Global Coalition of TB Activists, and regional networks of people living with HIV, people affected by TB, and people who use drugs – are sending this letter to authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an urgent appeal concerning the health of people with HIV in UAE prisons who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Petition to Require Mayor DeBlasio to Restore Contact Tracing Authority and Responsibility Back to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
May 13, 2020 — A group of New York City community and public health leaders called on NY State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to exercise his authority under NY State Public Health Law and in compliance with the New York State Sanitary Code, the New York City Charter, New York City Health Code and Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.19, to restore rightful authority the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to oversee and implement contact tracing of persons with Covid-19 in the jurisdiction of New York City, in cooperation with adjacent jurisdictions.  As the petition asserts, failure to do so will result in grievance harm to the public health of the residents of New York City. We requested that the Commissioner reverse the ill-taken decision to bifurcate this responsibility between the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has a long and successful history of carrying out this responsibility, and Health and Hospital Corporation, which not only has no history or experience with contact tracing and no legal authority to do so.

Letter to NYC Government Officials About Reported de Blasio Plan to Put Health + Hospitals in Contact Tracing Leadership Role
May 7, 2020 — The COVID-19 Working Group New York sent this letter responding to reports that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to put Health + Hospitals in the leadership role of a new initiative of COVID-19 contact tracing, a “reckless and potentially disastrous departure from sound public health practice.”

Long-Term U.S. HIV Activists’ Letter to the FDA Regarding SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Diagnostics
April 22, 2020 — Letter from a group of long-term U.S. HIV activists and organizations to Commissioner Stephen Hahn of the FDA, expressing dismay at the current state of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 diagnostics. In the letter, the members of the CWG review various COVID-19 tests, and provide short- and long-term recommendations.

Proposal to Create Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Persons and Those with Presumed or Confirmed COVID-19 and Mild to Moderate Disease
April 15, 2020 — The COVID-19 Working Group, New York (TAG is a member), sent this proposal to a variety of NY political leaders, urging that people who have a “high risk of exposure or presumed or confirmed COVID-19 with mild to moderate disease” who can’t self isolate at home should be offered the option, either by NY State or City, of safe spaces where they can voluntary isolate in a supportive environment.

Letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force
April 9, 2020 — TAG and other organizations and individuals signed on to this letter sent to the White House Coronavirus Task Force members, requesting immediate action to strengthen and focus the US Government response to COVID-19, both in the U.S. and internationally.

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