Attorney General Ford, 14 States Urge Trump Administration to Ease Restrictions on COVID-19 Research

March 26, 2020

Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and 14 states wrote a letter to President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services urging the Administration to end its research ban on fetal tissue to aid the nation's medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The attorneys general argue that lifting this ban could help scientists develop vaccines and study the effect the virus has on pregnant women and children.
"As our state and country faces an unprecedented crisis, now is not the time for politics," said AG Ford. "If we're going to overcome this pandemic as a nation, then we need to utilize all the tools in our toolbox, including allowing our scientists develop a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19."
Scientists at the National Institute of Health who are working on potential therapies for COVID-19 is urging the administration for permission to work on fetal tissue, arguing that the current ban hinders our nation's ability to address COVID-19. Research using fetal tissue has led to the development of other vaccines, such as those for polio, rubella and measles.
According to the American Medical Association, "fetal tissue has also been used to study the mechanism of viral infections and to diagnose viral infections and inherited diseases, as well as to develop transplant therapies." This is work that the attorneys general find pertinent to the current COVID-19 health crisis. Recognizing the importance of these scientific contributions, in 1993, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle voted to legalize fetal tissue research. The attorneys general argue that the June 2019 ban impedes necessary research efforts during this unprecedented public health crisis, and are urging the Trump Administration to taking action by lifting this research
In addition to Nevada, other states that participated in this letter include: California,
Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
The issued letter is attached.