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Responding to the justice and rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic
As it unfolds, the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is throwing into stark relief the deep failures and inequities in our current economic, social, legal and political orders. From our fragmented and profit-driven health care system to the absence of social safety nets, the conditions in which we live are enabling the virus to spread unchecked, with the greatest burden both from the disease itself and from the steps taken to check the virus, falling upon those with the least power. The Global Health Justice Partnership has been working with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally to respond to the health justice and human rights-implications of the pandemic. Our focus is on the public and private interventions and social supports that are necessary to protect the health and rights of the most vulnerable during this immediate crisis and to build a new infrastructure of care that supports our collective wellbeing in the long-term.
June 18, 2020 in the Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gosalves discusses the issue of homelessness and drug use in Boston, MA and how COVID-19 has in many ways made a bad situation worse.
June 11, 2020 in the Atlantic
By Gregg Gonsalves & Julia Marcus
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves and collegue discuss how public health experts support of the protests does not contradict their recommendations regarding COVID-19, but rather they are working to provide guidelines for these events which are just as important to end another public health crisis is this country.
June 4, 2020 in the Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the importance of the current movement and protests and it correlation to a potential uptick in COVID-19 cases.
May 28, 2020 in the Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves looks at the data around states reopening and the how contagious the virus remains while imploring readers to put continued pressure on government officials to scale up testing.
May 14, 2020 in the Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the ramifications of a huried quest to reopen the country.
April 30, 2020 in The Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the timeline and hurdles of the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
April 27, 2020 in The Boston Review
By Gregg Gonsalves & Amy Kapczynski
In their third piece for the Boston Review, GHJP Co-Director's Amy Kapczynski and Gregg Gonsalves propose a Community Health Corps - a massive jobs program for the age of COVID-19 - "a place to start to build a new movement that heals us and our body politic, and that will allow us—all of us—to survive a pandemic, and then, to thrive." The right response to COVID-19 is to rebuild our economy from the ground up, putting people to work in a massive jobs program to secure the public health of all.
April 23rd, 2020 in The Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonalves discusses the information and misinformation about what it will take to beat COVID-19.
April 16th, 2020 in The Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the importance of testing to the opening up of the economy and some return to normal activity.
April 9th, 2020 in The Nation
By Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the politics around finding an end to this COVID-19 outbreak.
March 27, 2020 in the Boston Review
By Gregg Gonsalves & Amy Kapczynski
GHJP Co-Directors Gregg Gonsalves and Amy Kapczynski discuss how discourse that the cure (social distancing measures to “flatten the curve”) is worse than the COVID-19 disease itself rely on a false tradeoff between human needs and the economy.
To Help Develop The Safest, Most Effective Coronavirus Tests, Treatments, And Vaccines, Ensure Public Access To Clinical Research Data
March 26, 2020 in the Health Affairs Blog
By Christopher J. Morten, Amy Kapczynski, Harlan M. Krumholz, Joseph S. Ross
GHJP Co-Director Amy Kapczynski ’03 and colleagues have urge public access to clinical research data during the coronavirus pandemic in order to ensure that new diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines are safe and effective.
March 24, 2020 in the Health and Human Rights Journal
By Tenu Avafia, Boyan Konstantinov, Kene Esom, Judit Rius Sanjuan, and Rebecca Schleifer
Beyond the known tragic and growing consequences of COVID-19 will also have a major impact on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the pledge to leave no one behind. Decisions made now by governments, the international community, the private sector, civil society, and individuals will shape the trajectory of the epidemic and its impact on billions of people worldwide. We need to learn from the HIV and TB epidemics and instill human rights principles in the COVID-19 response. In particular, this includes relying on the best available evidence to inform decision making, and fostering global collaboration to fuel innovation and equitable access while ensuing adequate financial and other resources to mount an effective response.
By the Justice Collaborative Institute and Data for Progress
In response to the Boston Review piece “Alone Against the Virus” published by GHJP Co-Directors Kapczynski and Gonsalves, the Justice Collaborative Institute and Data for Progress released a polling memo showing popular support among likely voters across party lines for a package of government proposals that will mitigate the effects of coronavirus, including free access to testing and vaccines, access to comprehensive care without premiums, copays, deductibles, or other costs, and paid sick and family leave.
March 13, 2020 in the Boston Review
By Amy Kapczynski and Gregg Gonsalves, Boston Review
GHJP Co-Directors Amy Kapczynski and Gregg Gonsalves lay out how decades of neoliberal austerity in the U.S. have created the conditions for COVID-19 to thrive. In posing the question “where do we go from here?”, Kapczynski and Gonsalves offer a path forward and out of our crisis of injustice and inequality. Their response to the “cruelty of American life” is a proposal for a New Deal for Public Health -- policies designed to build vital social solidarities and social safety nets to mitigate the current pandemic and address its underlying roots.
March 10, 2020 in Health Affairs
By Oluwadamilola T. Oladeru, Adam Beckman, and Gregg Gonsalves
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves and co-authors prescribe six actions public health officials and correctional leaders in the U.S. can take immediately to protect people incarcerated in our jails and prisons. These actions include: (1) a baseline assessment of the degree of preparedness in prisons and jails in the event of an uncontrolled outbreak; (2) the transparent establishment and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines tailored to prison health providers on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19; (3) timely and honest responses to reported or observed COVID-19 symptoms; (4) changes in status quo policing practices to curb the number of people entering correctional facilities; (5) attention to transitions and continuity of care for people released back into the community; and (6) measures to protect the health and safety of corrections staff.
March 6, 2020
On March 2, GHJP released an expert letter addressed to federal, state, and local leaders identifying essential aspects of an effective and fair response to COVID-19. The letter outlines evidence- and rights-based considerations for policymakers and leaders responding to COVID-19. GHJP led the drafting group, along with several Yale research assistants, and a small group of experts in law and public health at Temple, Northeastern, Harvard, and Yale among others. (Full drafting group is listed at the end of the letter text). More than 800 experts in public health and law with experience in pandemic response have signed on. With the help of the ACLU, the drafting group also convened press calls and briefings for members of Congress. The New York Times endorsed the letter, and it circulated widely.
March 3, 2020 in the Law and Political Economy Blog
By Amy Kapczynski
GHJP Co-Director Amy Kapczynski discusses the political economy of the COVID-19 crisis and how our current socio-legal context is fueling inequities and injustices that undermine responses to the pandemic. Building off the expert letter on the elements of a fair and effective response to COVID-19, Kapczynski suggests that a surge of social support is needed from the state to provide essential care and protections to all people.
In the News
June 20, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves speaks with NY Magazine about whether epidemiologists have anything to apologize for, how it feels to be both insider and outsider in this time of crisis, and what the future of social distancing might look like post-protest.
May 25, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the implication of states beginning to open back up.
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves joins members of the Yale and local activist communities to urge Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to depopulate the state’s prisons to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect the state’s most vulnerable populations from the pandemic.
May 5, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves joins James Hamblin and Katherine Wells on the Social Distance podcast to describe his experience fighting AIDS in the 1980s and ’90s and the implications for today.
April 17th, 2020
GHJP Co Director's Amy Kapczynski and Gregg Gonsalves appeared on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven where they discussed two essays they recently co-wrote for the Boston Review about the structural inequalities laid bare by this crisis, and the need for building a new politics and infrastructure of care during and after the pandemic.
April 16th, 2020
AI in Healthcare quotes GHJP Co-director Gregg Gonsalves on the potential danger of uninformed analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 15th, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Amy Kapcynski took part in a Washington Post Q&A about the progress in finding a vaccine for COVID-19.
April 14th, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves is quoted in a New York Times piece about Singapore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 6th, 2020
GHJP's Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves is quoted in the New York Times about how to gauge when to reopen the country.
Gonsalves on Covid-19: This is a 'political crisis' & The debate over showing WH briefings full of falsehoods
April 5th, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discusses the political crisis around Covid-19 and whether the TV networks should air White House briefings on CNN.
Gregg Gonsalves & Amy Kapczynski on Democracy Now!
As the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections, a record number of Americans file for unemployment. Gasping for air, gasping for care; what does global health justice look like? In an interview with GHJP Co-Directors Gregg Gonsalves and Amy Kapczynski, they say decades of neoliberal austerity make it harder to fight the pandemic and propose a New Deal for public health.
Open letter: Civil society urges Gilead to take immediate action to ensure access to potential COVID-19 treatment
March 30, 2020
An Open letter signed by more than 150 civil society organizations and individuals urging Gilead to take immediate action to ensure the availability, affordability and accessibility of possible COVID-19 treatment.
March 20, 2020
In a virtual town hall moderated by GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves, eight experts from Yale and the city of New Haven informed the public and policymakers on the latest developments in the global public health emergency. Panelists included GHJP Co-Director Amy Kapczynski, who discussed measures to protect rights and build social immunity during and after the pandemic.
Urgent Action Needed to Protect Individuals in Connecticut’s Prisons and Jails from Coronavirus-19 Pandemic
March 16, 2020
Authored by the Global Health Justice Partnership; Stop Solitary CT; ACLU of Connecticut; Connecticut Bail Fund; Katal Center for Health, Equity & Justice; Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic; and Sex Workers & Allies Network, with endorsements from 85+ organizations and 1300+ individuals
The Global Health Justice Partnership joined allied groups in calling upon Governor Lamont to act immediately to protect the lives of the incarcerated people in our state. Three urgent steps are needed: (1) the immediate release of as many people in custody as possible; (2) a moratorium on new admissions into jails and prisons; and (3) evidence-based, humane and rights-affirming measures to protect the health and wellbeing of the individuals who will stay behind walls. Join the campaign by following the actions posted on the Stop Solitary CT website.
Date: March 16, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves discussed the importance of sustained social distancing, the need for scaled-up COVID-19 testing in order to precisely target prevention efforts and mobilize resources for care, and the imperative for swift government action to provide social and economic relief to all people.
March 13, 2020
GHJP Co-Director Gregg Gonsalves and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on how activism used during the early days of HIV epidemic can inform action now on coronavirus outbreak.
The following letters, press releases and memos were released to the City of New Haven by the GHJP, the Sex Workers and Allies Network (SWAN) and other allied groups calling for immediate actions to protect the health and rights of marginalized persons, including people who are homeless, living in poverty, using substances and/or engaged in sex work, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With regards to local advocacy efforts, the GHJP strives to work in ethical and politically-conscious ways with community partners: for the past several years, this has included collaborative projects in support of SWAN, a New Haven-based harm reduction organization led by and for current and former street-based sex workers.
May 8, 2020 in the New Haven Independent
Press release here
Endorsing organizations include: Stop Solitary-Connecticut; the Connecticut Harm Reduction Working Group; Sex Workers and Allies Network; Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition; Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice; Alliance for Living; Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health; Yale Global Health Justice Partnership; One Standard of Justice
A coalition of local, statewide, and Yale-affiliated advocacy groups held a press conference calling on Governor Ned Lamont and mayors across Connecticut to implement comprehensive COVID-19 plans addressing the crisis in CT jails and prison as well as the needs of people experiencing homelessness, people who use drugs, people with disabilities, and street-involved persons, including sex workers.
Letter to Chief Otoniel Reyes, New Haven Police Department
April 8, 2020
Endorsing organizations include: Sex Worker and Allies Network (SWAN); CT Community Health Care Van; Yale Global Health Justice Partnership; Faultline Ensemble; Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health
The letter outlines demands for changes to policing and arrest practices to cease new incarceration as well as the routine criminalization of poverty, homelessness and survival-based behaviors.
March 27, 2020
Endorsing organizations include: Sex Workers and Allies Network; Yale Global Health Justice Partnership; Sex Workers Outreach Project – USA; National Health Care for the Homeless Council; New Haven Women’s Resettlement Working Group; Yale Community Health Care Van/Syringe Services Program; New Haven Legal Assistance Association
The letter details concerns and proposals for the City of New Haven on the development of accountable and publicly transparent plans and policies with regards to COVID-19 response to ensure cross-sectoral coordination and public consultation; the creation of responsive shelter, health service and housing options for people without housing; the opening of low-barrier drop-in centers; and changes to policing and carceral protocols.
Letter to Dr. Mehul Dalal, Community Services Administration
March 23, 2020
By the Sex Workers and Allies Network and Yale Global Health Justice Partnership
The letter identifies key considerations for the establishment of accessible bathrooms, low-barrier drop-in centers, and harm reduction-oriented temporary housing sites.
March 17, 2020
Created in collaboration by the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Global Health Justice Partnership, the Sex Workers and Allies Network, and Crackdown. Adapted with thanks from a document produced by 3D Research.
Public health and harm reduction experts offer guidance to substance users on how to stay safe during the pandemic and minimize risk of COVID-19 infection.
GHJP, in collaboration with the Workers and Immigrants Rights Clinic is in the process of litigating a case against the unconstitutional quarantines of several Connecticut residents, including two who aided in the public health response in Liberia and an immigrant family. The materials from the litigation are available here, and include full briefing of the constitutional issues along with several amicus briefs. The litigation again has relevance as COVID-19 quarantines are enacted, and the New York Times covered the experiences of our clients in a recent piece.
March 2, 2020
Compiled by Kayoko Shioda, Mary Petrone, and Hanna Ehrlich, PhD candidates at Yale School of Public Health and Rita Gilles, JD candidate at Yale Law School
Compilation of the relevant and representative literature pertaining to the impacts of travel restrictions, quarantines and isolation, and social distancing on the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the etiologic agent of COVID-19