This is a time of transition for all members of our community, as we start to imagine life after the pandemic. We have come a long way since the word “coronavirus” first entered our common vocabulary, and we should feel a sense of pride and optimism about where we are now.
We at Weill Cornell Medicine have a responsibility as leaders in academic medicine to demonstrate what it looks like to confront inequality with self-awareness and transparency, and commit to the uplift and wellbeing of all.
It’s been just over a year since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in New York City. Although that specific day—March 1, 2020—may not carry the same significance for all of us, I’m sure that each of you recalls the moments when you realized that life was being rapidly and completely transformed by the coronavirus.
As New York City progresses on its path of recovery, slowly but surely, Weill Cornell Medicine is also moving forward in its mission to care, discover, and teach. One area that we are emphasizing to an even greater extent now is anti-racism and social justice.
I firmly believe that we will emerge from this battle wiser and stronger than before, and that our COVID-related work at Weill Cornell Medicine will only enhance the ways we approach research, patient care, and education down the road. As we move forward, however, we must reflect on the lessons COVID has taught us, so we can do everything possible to ensure that the next generation of physician-scientists is able to mobilize as quickly and effectively as we did against any impending health crisis that endangers our community, our nation, and the world.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, we join others around the world in condemning race-related violence and police brutality. Now, more than ever, we stand in solidarity with the black and brown communities who face marginalization and microaggressions every single day.
Our faculty, staff, and students have been resilient and flexible throughout these extraordinary times. Our healthcare workers on the front lines of care have inspired us with their courage, and we’ve tried to support them in any way we can, even by simply staying at home and cheering them in the evenings.