Mission Moment March – 2020
COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) Update: As the recent the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) continues to spread, we have updated our website to include a webpage specifically on coronavirus. Recommendations to protect yourself from coronaviruses and to help stop the spread are similar to those for other infections like the cold or the flu. The best way to protect yourself from respiratory infection is to avoid touching people who are infected and wash your hands often. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you think you are infected, stay home and avoid crowds and contact with others. Keep others safe by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze and disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch.
Lung Association Research Impacts COVID-19:
The American Lung Association helped contribute to a new, exciting finding that may result in novel treatment targets for COVID-19. One of our researchers, John Schoggins, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is among those credited with identifying the LY6E protein in his lab. This protein, which is naturally produced by the human immune system, constrains coronavirus infection. “Remarkably, this potent inhibitory effect carried over to all the coronaviruses we tested, including those responsible for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) outbreak in 2003, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in 2012, and the recently emerged causative agent of COVID-19, known as SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Schoggins in the institution’s press release. The newly posted pre-print article, entitled “LY6E Impairs Coronavirus Fusion and Confers Immune Control of Viral Disease,” details the groundbreaking discovery and worldwide significance. Congratulations to Dr. Schoggins and his team!
Coronavirus and Lung Association Events
As the country’s trusted champion of lung health, the American Lung Association puts the health and well-being of our nationwide community first and foremost. As some of you may know, we have already cancelled or postponed some local Climbs and other large planned gatherings. We are now taking the extra measure of postponing ALL local events and in-person meetings nationwide through May 31, 2020.
We understand and share your disappointment in the postponement of many activities; however, we are working to minimize the risk to all, especially those with lung disease or a compromised immune system. Your local Lung Association team will be in touch with you about the eventual rescheduling and logistics of these events.
As this situation unfolds, we will continue to closely monitor CDC and WHO guidance. We urge all Americans, especially those at higher risk, to take all reasonable precautions to protect their health. We will continue to share important information on our website and through social channels. We also offer you the respiratory expertise available at no cost through the Lung HelpLine (1-800-586-4872).
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we navigate and reach a healthy resolution to this evolving situation together.
Share Your Story and Help Protect the Affordable Care Act: March marks the 10th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law. We are working to safeguard this landmark law, which has ensured quality and affordable healthcare for millions of Americans, including those with lung disease. You can help! Share your story about the importance of healthcare coverage and add your voice to ours. Together, we can protect quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. To learn more, see this article by our National President and CEO Harold Wimmer.
Major Tobacco Bill Passed: In an historic bipartisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives to passed the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020. This groundbreaking bill will prohibit all flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars and menthol cigarettes. On March 6, Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deb Brown joined Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) the lead author of this bill, along with students and public health advocates, to celebrate the House passage of bipartisan legislation to address the youth tobacco and vaping epidemic. We want to thank all our volunteers who made phone calls to their Representatives asking them to support the bill – it made a huge difference
Celebrating Five Years of LUNG FORCE ADVOCACY DAY
On March 25, LUNG FORCE Heroes from across the nation united to celebrate our 5th annual Advocacy Day. Due to travel risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day was a remote event, allowing LUNG FORCE Heroes to still meet with members of Congress and raise their voices to:
- Ask members of Congress to support $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health so there can be better early detection, treatments and cures for lung cancer; and
- Ask members of Congress to ensure that current healthcare protections, including those for patients with pre-existing conditions, will continue.
LUNG FORCE Hero: Eric. P will be attending our 5th annual Advocacy Day event, and shares why quality, affordable healthcare has been crucial throughout his lung cancer journey.
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock, and mineral ores such as quartz. It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such as mining, glass manufacturing, and foundry work. Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, which can harm your ability to breathe. Through a partnership with iQ Power Tools, we were able to create a new educational video “Understanding Silicosis” featuring our volunteer medical spokesperson Dr. Jamie Garfield. Learn more about silicosis at Lung.org/silicosis.
Postponed: “Clean Air for All” Symposium now on September 29
The “Clean Air for All” Symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act has been rescheduled for September 29 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay tuned for more information.
EACH Breath Blog
Our annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, graded the states and federal government on key tobacco control policies and found that stronger tobacco control policies, including on e-cigarettes, are needed across the country. Read our blog to learn more and take action! Tell your members of Congress to protect our kids and end the sale of flavored tobacco products.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
You make everything we do possible. Whether it’s keeping kids off tobacco, protecting the air we breathe, helping someone with lung cancer make treatment decisions, or the many other ways we help America breathe easier, it’s all thanks to your generous support!
Blog last updated: March 27, 2020