The American Action Fund (AAF), a special project of Young Americans for Liberty, is working with Alabama lawmakers to add further accountability to the State Board of Health.

A longstanding debate among lawmakers has surrounded the state board of health and the state health officer especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, “Alabama law designates the State Board of Health as an advisory board to the state in all medical matters, matters of sanitation, and public health. The Medical Association, which meets annually, is the State Board of Health. The State Committee of Public Health meets monthly between the annual meetings and is authorized to act on behalf of the State Board of Health. The State Health Officer is empowered to act on behalf of the State Committee of Public Health when the committee is not in session.”

In other words, the Medical Association for the State of Alabama (MASA) is the State Board of Health and appoints the State Health Officer.

The State Committee of Public Health comprises 12 members of the board of censors of MASA. According to its website, MASA “exists to serve, lead and unite physicians in promoting the highest quality of health care for the people of Alabama through advocacy, information and education.”

As with previous years, lawmakers are planning legislation this session to shift the State Health Officer’s designation into the hands of the governor. State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville), the bill’s sponsor, said he already has many cosponsors lined up.

“Many have lamented the lack of accountability for Alabama’s Fauci, Dr. Scott Harris, but the State Health Officer issue is just the tip of the iceberg,” said DJ Parten, Alabama state director for AAF. “The State Board of Health and the Committee of Public Health are entirely unaccountable to the people of Alabama.” 

He continued, “This is the biggest threat to liberty in our state. It is time to make Alabama’s billion-dollar public health apparatus accountable to the people and our representatives.”

State Rep. Ben Harrison (R-Cartwright) chimed in, echoing the need for reform in the state health apparatus.

“Alabamians languished for more than a year under lockdowns and mandates imposed on us, in part by unelected bureaucrats who do not answer to the people or to elected officials," he stated.

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