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Statement on Police-Involved Killings and Protests


Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON—We deplore the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other victims of unjustified, police-involved killings. These incidents of brutality deepen the gulf between police and people of color and fuel the anger and frustration now spilling into our streets.

They also erode trust in law enforcement and inflame the divides that cross our communities. We condemn the violence that has marred the legitimate, peaceful protests of these killings, and we denounce the excessive force used against protesters and bystanders. The right of people to peaceably assemble must be defended and cherished.

The pervasive racial and ethnic inequities plainly evident in these events are the same as those behind poor health outcomes in communities of color—including the unconscionable rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths we see among African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities. Essential hospitals face this reality every day, as they care for disadvantaged communities plagued by social and economic disparities rooted in a history of systemic racism. These inequities manifest as chronic conditions, traumatic injuries, substance use disorders, and other profound challenges for marginalized people. But at their core, they are a legacy of profound injustice and racism.

These injustices and racism are urgent public health threats. It is incumbent upon health care professionals and systems to confront these threats and to overcome the inequities that afflict racial and ethnic minorities.

Our essential hospitals have worked for generations to help communities cope with health disparities and conquer inequities. But without justice, there will be no equity.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

Carl Graziano


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