Act for Public Health

Providing resources to counter public health authority rollbacks

Act for Public Health is a collaborative working group that provides resources, technical assistance, and training to help push back against attempts to block public health officials’ ability to do their job.

Public health departments do a lot to keep people safe from man-made crises, natural disasters, and outbreaks of disease. But as communities continue to grapple with COVID-19, more than half of US states have passed legislation that will undermine public health now and in the future.

The ongoing backlash against public health authority significantly limits public health officials’ ability to respond to disasters and disease outbreaks. Public health leaders have experienced personal threats and acts of intimidation. And following public discontent with lifesaving measures like masking and social distancing, legislative proposals in many states seek to inhibit the ability of public health authorities and state governors to respond to the immediate needs of COVID-19 and to future public health threats. These enacted and proposed laws will certainly harm Americans and increase health inequities.

Act for Public Health, an initiative of the Public Health Law Partnership, provides law and policy research, analysis, and expertise in support of public health authority. This group of public health organizations and experts is applying their decades of experience in public health law and policy work to preserve public health authority and infrastructure wherever challenges arise.

The latest resources from the Act for Public Health partnership will help advocates articulate the rationale for preserving local health powers. The fact sheets describe how public health authority works, the types of restrictions that are being enacted, and the implications for public health and health equity.

Visit the Act for Public Health website for tools and resources on public health authority.

Join the Act for Public Health email list to receive updates on new and upcoming litigation, legislation, events, and resources.

Questions? Contact us if you'd like more information on how to support public health departments.

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