Amid pandemics, states reopenings, uprisings, planned marches, and rising numbers of deaths and cases, the Bioethics Commission will be a trusted voice in public health taking on the responsibility to clarify what is necessary in order to save lives by reducing the exposure to CoV-2, coronavirus, and COVID-19. The pandemic is still with us. The Bioethics Commission will serve as an African American multidisciplinary body to identify, assess, and make recommendations concerning dynamic trends related to COVID-19 and its impact on African American communities. Co-chairs of the Commission, Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, and Dr. Rueben Warren said, “We think such a Commission is urgently needed in this pandemic in which national public leadership is lacking and information being disseminated is confusing and distrusted. Moreover, scientific data is being weaponized and manipulated to serve political agendas over the welfare of our people. Together, we must disseminate the most informed, clear, and credible and practical guidelines we can. “In this particular COVID-19 pandemic moment of witnessing and effecting strategies to mitigate the horrific collateral damage being done to African American families and communities, SDPC and its partners must stand with moral authority to discern the times and engage with informed and purposeful advocacy for the many vulnerable populations whose voices are marginalized. It is most especially appropriate that the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, Tuskegee University, partners with SDPC in this endeavor. Long before COVID-19, this was a necessary partnership discussed by the principals of both organizations. Today’s urgency is clear.
All the members of this newly formed Bioethics Commission are highly regarded in their respective fields. In addition to Dr. Iva E. Carruthers and Dr. Rueben Warren, some other co-conveners of the Bioethics Commission include: Dr. Oliver T. Brooks, president, National Medical Association; Rev. Devon Crawford, director William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, Kennedy School Harvard University; Rev. Ronnie Galvan president for Racial Equity and the Democratic Economy, Democracy Collaborative Chu Onwuachi-Saunders, MD, MPH, is a mother, pediatrician, and medical epidemiologist who worked for over ten years with the Us Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involved with issues related to children’s health and youth violence prevention; Ulysses W. Burley III, founder of UBtheCURE LLC, a proprietary consulting company on the intersection of Faith, Health, and Human Rights; Dr. A. Oveta Fuller, career virologist, associate professor in microbiology and immunology, director of the African Studies Center (ASC), faculty in the ASC STEM Initiative at the University of Michigan, and an adjunct professor at Payne Theological Seminary, and more.