LA Times op-ed explains need for guidelines on information in a public health emergency

In an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times, Felice J. Freyer and Charles Ornstein, members of AHCJ’s board of directors, write that releasing accurate information in a public health emergency reassures the public that officials are being honest about what they know and what the risks are.

The piece includes several examples of public health emergencies in which officials have been less than forthcoming.

As board members of the Assn. of Health Care Journalists, we have been troubled by the way some health officials cite privacy laws as the reason for withholding information that, by law, doesn’t have to be private.

The op-ed piece also introduces the set of guidelines that AHCJ established with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials about what information should be made public.

Previously: Health officials, journalists agree on standards

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