AMSA Statement on Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

Media Contact
Pete Thomson
Chief Communications Officer
American Medical Student Association
Email: pr@amsa.org

McLean, Va., January 7, 2021: The AMSA Board of Trustees, National President Dr. Ali Bokhari, and Education and Advocacy Fellow Mattie Renn released the following statement on yesterday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol:

Along with the rest of the nation, we watched with horror as the events at the Capitol unfolded on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. 

For generations, many of us — medical students, residents, both practicing and prospective physicians — have walked those hallowed halls, shuffling from one office to another, advocating for the interests of our patients and communities while sometimes catching a pause to take in the grand history of our center of government. For some of us, the people’s House is like a second home. The violence and desecration perpetrated yesterday extend far beyond the damage to buildings — they represent an assault on our democracy. 

Our institutions continue to be tested by those who seek personal gain over democratic principles, culminating in the insurrection we bore witness to yesterday. The President of the United States, along with his enablers, are responsible for that assault, and their actions are nothing short of an abdication of their oaths of office. But the sowing of fear and discord that led to yesterday’s attack has been years in the making. 

These sources of mistrust and misinformation, that cast doubt on the integrity of our election process, led people to believe the election was stolen. These same sources of mistrust are responsible for casting doubt on the true realities of our raging pandemic, prohibiting the adequate public response we need in order to protect lives. These same sources aid in disguising widespread voter suppression tactics that prevent Americans from using that lever to change structural barriers in their communities. These same sources have barred the implementation of policies to help Americans access the healthcare they need. And these same sources fog the public discourse to reckon with the true nature of racial injustice in this country and impede the movement for much needed-change.

On this last point, it is especially difficult to find the words to describe how it feels to see the clear disparity in the law enforcement response to armed insurrectionists storming the Capitol and protesters of racial injustice bearing the brunt of aggressive tactics. There is a direct connecting line between the police officer who presses a knee to a Black man’s throat to deny his breath and the people in power who actively stoke the flames of white nationalism and violence. The events of yesterday are nothing short of a rallying cry for white supremacy, complete with a Confederate flag and a noose, and bordering an incitement of sedition that threatens the health of our democracy.

For these reasons, the American Medical Student Association joins in the calls for the resignation or removal of the current President of the United States.

As the next generation of physicians, advocates of our patients, servants of our communities, and caretakers of the health and the well-being of our nation, we acknowledge that the road to progress and recovery is long. The start of a new Congress and a new administration opens an exciting new chapter in our history. We look forward to working with our partners in the good, hard work ahead of us.  

Signed: 

Ali Bokhari, DO, MPH, AMSA National President

Mattie Renn, AMSA-KP Education and Advocacy Fellow

The AMSA Board of Trustees & AMSA Foundation Board of Directors

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About the American Medical Student Association:

AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing physicians-in-training, advocating for quality and affordable health care for all, and building the next generation of physician leaders. To join our community, visit amsa.org.

About the American Medical Student Association Foundation:

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public educational foundation that supports the activities of the American Medical Student Association, including education and career development, research projects and innovative community impact programs aligned with the strategic priorities of the association. Learn more at amsafoundation.org.