Posted by: bluesyemre | November 22, 2020

#Elsevier Chairman Youngsuk “YS” Chi’s letter to President-elect Joe Biden

Former Vice President and President-elect Joe Biden accepts the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York in 2017 (Photo by Alison Bert)

Chairman outlines Elsevier’s continued commitment to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

November 16, 2020

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Dear Mr. President-Elect:

Congratulations on your election as the 46th President of the United States. We also extend our enthusiastic congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris on her historic election as our next Vice President.

My congratulatory letter is also a letter of our commitment to act with open and transparent evidence-based solutions to help your administration to meet the challenges and opportunities of our time.

Elsevier commends your swift action in establishing a Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. With over 11 million total coronavirus cases and a rising death toll in the U.S., we recognize the urgency and stand ready to do all we can to help.

As you are aware from our work together on the Cancer Moonshot initiative, Elsevier is singularly focused on supporting researchers and healthcare professionals to advance science and improve health outcomes. From our ScienceDirect platform that brings together content from across our 2,500 journals—including the latest research from The Lancet and Cell Press family of medical and scientific journals—to our clinical learning and decision support solutions and data analytic offerings, we share your commitment to a science-led, evidence-based approach to our public health challenges.

In this spirit, we have been actively supporting efforts in the U.S. and abroad to more effectively battle the pandemic.

For example, in January 2020, Elsevier launched a Novel Coronavirus Information Center that made all relevant journal articles, clinical insights and data analytics freely available; and shortly afterwards, added a series of freely accessible resource hubs for healthcare workers and researchers, including a global Healthcare Hub; a Research Hub; and a Mental Health Hub. We are also partnering with OSTP, NIH, and the WHO to support COVID-19 research solutions. And lastly, we launched Elsevier’s The Lancet COVID-19 Commission — an interdisciplinary initiative led by Jeff Sachs, alongside leaders in health sciences, business, finance, and policy — focused on helping to speed up equitable and lasting solutions to the pandemic.

We applaud your COVID-19 plan released on November 8, and we believe Elsevier is well-positioned to collaborate with your Advisory Board and others on the following critical needs:

1. The Need for “Clear, Consistent, Evidence-Based” Resources. We agree on the need for “clear, consistent, evidence-based” guidance and resources to help communities navigate the pandemic. Additional efforts are needed to rebuild the trust between the government and the public, and it is precisely these evidence-based resources that will best accomplish this objective. We need to rebuild the trust and confidence now in the science around COVID-19, with a specific focus on vaccine science.

There is an opportunity for the Administration to coordinate the development and dissemination of trusted knowledge for frontline healthcare workers. Our country’s nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals require immediate access to the most-up-to-date tools and resources to support COVID-19-based procedures such as triage, infection prevention, vaccine administration and patient testing. This is an area of tremendous expertise for Elsevier, and our clinical pathways and guidelines are currently deployed on technology platforms around the world and used by 97 of the top 100 U.S. Healthcare systems. Part of our expertise resides in the translation and location of these guidelines and resources to ensure cultural relevance and appropriateness.

We have invested significant resources to make such resources freely available and believe that a coordinated federal plan will help to increase confidence and enhance best practices across the 3,000+ counties in the United States. We stand ready to support the Advisory Board on this central and overarching initiative. The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr. November 16, 2020 Page 2

2. The Need to Better Support the Most Vulnerable, At-Risk Populations. We also strongly agree that the U.S. needs to focus on the “equitable” distribution of treatments and the need to address population risk, understanding that age, race, ethnic and other social determinants of health disparities are placing certain populations at higher risk. Elsevier has a rich tradition of working to advance diversity in science, including through our series of Gender in Research reports, and delivering culturally sensitive content.

We would welcome the opportunity to share our expertise in utilizing available health data to support at-risk populations, improve community outcomes and address community inequalities. For example, we have marshalled our unique data assets—along with data from Johns Hopkins University, WHO, CDC and the American Hospital Association—to gain additional insights around COVID-19 in our communities. We are making this data freely available via our LexisNexis COVID-19 Resource Center, and remain available to brief the Advisory Board around these findings and provide the backend data to help drive person-centric health analytics.

We also see a related opportunity to help address inequality of access to care in areas where a lack of available inventory of healthcare resources, combined with projected demands, may create shortages or rationing which furthers disproportionate outcomes for at-risk populations. We have reviewed potential critical care gaps through various risk score frameworks—including provider risk, hospital risk, ICU risk and pharmacy risk—across the United States and are similarly making this data freely available for broad public use. We will gladly make our experts available to brief the Advisory Board around these and related findings.

3. The Need for More (and Better) Contact Tracing. We also applaud your plan to improve and expand contact tracing, including implementing more culturally competent approaches to reaching and protecting at-risk populations. We are currently supporting 35 state and county health departments with their contact tracing efforts. We are also exploring ways to contribute our healthcare data with partners to better identify vulnerable individuals and assisting governmental agencies in the planning, management and execution of vaccination delivery to the most vulnerable. We stand ready to support the Advisory Board on these initiatives as well.

* * * * *

We have reached an inflection point, and we must now rededicate ourselves to the application of scientific knowledge to improve the human condition, in service of society and to improve health for all. On behalf of Elsevier and its related companies, I pledge to continue to offer our resources in the service of society to ensure this is not only a time of peril, but also one of renewed opportunity.

Mr. President-elect, I was privileged to stand with you in honor at the United Nations for our work together on Global Health in 2017. Today, Elsevier stands ready to expand our partnership to advance science, beyond politics, in order to help heal the global community.


YS Chi signature

Youngsuk “Y.S.” Chi
Chairman, Elsevier
Elsevier 230 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10169
cc: Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board Co-Chairs:
Dr. David Kessler;
Dr. Vivek Murthy; and
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith

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