Eleven months after the first pandemic lockdown, a legal tool little known to the public is limiting public health responses that affect millions of Americans. Preemption — a doctrine that allows one level of government to limit or eliminate the power of a lower level of government to regulate a specific issue — is not inherently adversarial to public health or equity, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, preemption is being used in ways that disproportionately harm the health of communities of color and people with low income.

On February 11, Sarah de Guia, CEO of ChangeLab Solutions, hosted a Twitter briefing with Kim Haddow, strategic consultant at Local Solutions Support Center, and Sabrina Adler, vice president of law at ChangeLab Solutions, who discussed how state and federal governments have used preemption to limit solutions to COVID-19 and how community advocates can respond. 

Watch the video: Preemption, Public Health, and Equity in the Time of COVID-19