As Our Nation Struggles with COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Pan Makes Statement on 25th National Public Health Week

April 6, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA – Dr. Richard Pan, pediatrician and State Senator representing the Sacramento area made the following statement today, the start of the 25th National Public Health Week:


“As our nation struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, I wish to express my gratitude to the public health professionals who have been on the front line protecting our state’s and nation’s health.  These disease detectives constantly monitor our health and environment to identify threats to our well-being and rally us to build healthier communities.

As a state and country, we need to invest much more into public health.  Too often, public health and prevention is underfunded, especially during economic downturns.  Yet, we depend on public health to prevent health disasters that often become economic ones.  We are witnessing this today with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a legislator, I am proud to champion public health in California including legislation to increase vaccination rates, reduce the number of uninsured Californians, expand newborn screening and support research on violent deaths including gun deaths.  I chaired hearings on public health preparedness and increased state funding for county health departments.

Public health is about keeping our neighborhoods safe and healthy.  The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the cost of not having a robust public health system in place.  Our leaders need to be listening to public health experts and sharing accurate health information to save lives.  Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life in a safe environment.”

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Richard Pan, MD, MPH is a California State Senator representing the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento and parts of unincorporated Sacramento County.  He is Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.  Dr. Pan received his Medical Doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh and his Master of Public Health at Harvard University.

National Public Health Week is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. More information can be found at