Keep Masks in Healthcare
Physicians and other healthcare workers have been speaking out in public protest against the removal of mask mandates by hospital administrations. Despite the end of public health emergencies in the US  and globally , the WHO warns that the risk of infection, disease, and long-term harm are still present , and they advise against dropping precautions or surveillance. A growing movement, Keep Masks in Healthcare, has resulted.
WHN has written a response saying “Removing mask requirements is not based on scientific data or real-world experience” .
Dr. Noha Aboelata, the founding CEO of Roots Community Health Center in California, stated “In what universe is it ethically appropriate for physicians and hospitals to infect their own patients with COVID?” .
Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a family physician in Canada, wrote : “I refuse to be an accomplice in the (re)infection of my patients and community. I will do what I can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to educate people about long COVID, and to take care of others.” This statement was echoed by Dr Walpoth , a Cardiologist/Politician in Switzerland, and Jeffrey Nicholson , a nurse in Canada.
Medical laboratory scientist David Christopher quoted the Hippocratic oath  “Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm.”
British Colombia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, released a statement in April on how the removal of masking directives in healthcare settings represents a violation of human rights .
Govender said: “Masks minimally impair those who wear them, but the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable people are well-known and they vary from the mild to the deadly. If there is one space that all vulnerable people should be able to rely on to prioritize their safety, it is in healthcare settings, including long term care facilities.”
WHN member working groups are actively discussing patients’ legal rights, the liabilities of healthcare professionals and the rights of higher risk populations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and are compiling legal resources. Patients can also advocate for themselves and others using WHN member resources:
- “Doctors Should Not Infect Patients”  by Nathaniel Nerode highlights the importance of high quality masks/respirators, as well as ventilation and HEPA air purification in healthcare settings.
- Legal resources  for vulnerable individuals, including state-wide disability law service.
- Join WHN’s Weekly Action Team  to organize targeted efforts, such as joining the movement to Tell Medicare/Medicaid: Hospitals should protect us from Hospital-Acquired COVID  public comment action (if interested, submit your comment before June 9th).
- As the COVID pandemic rages on, healthcare-acquired infections are harming, disabling and killing patients. At World Health Network, we want to draw attention to this issue. If you are interested in helping with this effort, we now have a form you can add your information to.
WHN’s May Broadcasts
 US Announces Plan to End Declaration of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. WHN. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://whn.global/newsletter/us-announces-plan-to-end-declaration-of-covid-19-public-health-emergency/
 Souza LE de, Heino MT, Bilodeau S, et al. Keep Up the Fight: WHO’s Emergency Phase End Doesn’t Mean the Threat is Gone. WHN communications. 2023;4(5):1-1. doi:https://doi.org/10.59454/whn-2305-057
 https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1654477334139863041?s=20. Twitter. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1654477334139863041?s=20
 Šalamon Š, Souza LE de, Heino MT, et al. The Case for Keeping Masks Mandatory in Health Care. WHN communications. 2023;4(5):1-1. doi:https://doi.org/10.59454/whn-2305-586
 Opinion: California health care providers’ retreat from COVID masking is shameful. The Mercury News. Published May 5, 2023. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/05/opinion-health-care-providers-retreat-from-covid-masking-is-shameful/
 https://twitter.com/nilikm/status/1645976837711953922?s=20. Twitter. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://twitter.com/nilikm/status/1645976837711953922?s=20
 https://twitter.com/BNazanWalpoth/status/1647084616849694720?s=20. Twitter. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://twitter.com/BNazanWalpoth/status/1647084616849694720?s=20
 https://twitter.com/NurseNicholson/status/1647337907974176768?s=20. Twitter. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://twitter.com/NurseNicholson/status/1647337907974176768?s=20
 https://twitter.com/MLS_Dave/status/1661482727311552512?s=20. Twitter. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://twitter.com/MLS_Dave/status/1661482727311552512?s=20
 Human Rights Commissioner troubled by end of mask mandates in healthcare settings. BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://bchumanrights.ca/news/human-rights-commissioner-troubled-by-end-of-mask-mandates-in-healthcare-settings/
 Nerode, Nathaniel. Doctors Should Not Infect Patients. WHN. Published March 21, 2023. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://whn.global/doctors-should-not-infect-patients/
 Legal Resources for Vulnerable Individuals. WHN. Published April 3, 2023. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://whn.global/legal-resources/
 Weekly Action Team. WHN. Published May 16, 2023. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://whn.global/weekly-action-team/
 People’s CDC. Tell Medicare/Medicaid: Hospitals should protect us from Hospital-Acquired COVID. People’s CDC. Published May 22, 2023. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://peoplescdc.substack.com/p/tell-cms-care-not-covid?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email