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President Dr. Rafael Barrera

ACAIM Positions

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  • 24 Mar 2021 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    The American College of Academic International Medicine (ACAIM) condemns all forms of violence, discrimination, racism, harassment and xenophobia. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the combination of inflammatory political discourse, deeply embedded prejudices, and the general increase in intolerant behaviors has resulted in a significant increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

    Regardless of whether the manifestation of anti-Asian bias takes the form of social exclusion, non-verbal behaviors, verbal abuse or physical violence, we must stand united, respond firmly, and emphasize that racism and its consequences are deplorable and unacceptable. According to official statistics, anti-Asian American hate crimes reported to police rose by nearly 150% between 2019 and 2020. The group Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate reported approximately 3,800 hate attacks between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Physical assaults, including injuries and homicides, comprised approximately 11% of the incidents. It is likely that incidence of hate crimes is much higher, as a significant proportion of such events goes unreported for a variety of reasons.

    The Leadership of ACAIM stands with the victims of anti-Asian American attacks, abuse, and discrimination, just as we stand against any forms of discrimination based upon race, religious and/or political beliefs, gender identification and orientation, sex, and socio-economic upbringing. Furthermore, as physician-scientists and humanitarians, we must learn from the current experiences and ensure more robust efforts to implement “educate and prevent” programs against racial violence and abuse. Our thoughts go out to families and communities affected by anti-Asian American hate crimes across the country. To combat the ignorance and hate, we must stand together! 

  • 12 Aug 2020 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    On August 4, large explosions in the Port of Beirut resulted in the extensive destruction of homes, businesses, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure. The result was more than 200 confirmed deaths with many more missing, over 5,000 injured, and approximately 300,000 internally displaced. In addition to major impact on Beirut’s health and economic sectors, a significant proportion of Lebanon's grain supply was destroyed as well.

    Our thoughts go out to the entire community of Greater Beirut as well as our Lebanese friends and colleagues who have been impacted by this disaster. Although the recovery process will be long and difficult, we believe that the determination, ingenuity and pride of the Lebanese people will help rebuild Beirut stronger than ever.

    For those wishing to contribute to the relief and rebuilding effort, please consider donating through established philanthropic structures, including the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (; the Lebanese Red Cross (; and Malteser International (, among many other available support channels.

    There are many lessons that the international health security community needs to learn and urgently act upon as a result of the Beirut tragedy. Dangerous chemicals are all-too-often concentrated in relatively small spaces, near highly populated areas, with limited oversight, leading to unacceptable risks to local populations. Given previous similar incidents, including those in Tianjin, China (2015); West, Texas (2013); and Toulouse, France (2001) the time has come for a comprehensive, worldwide review of policies and procedures related to storage of chemicals with high explosive potential near densely populated areas. We must learn from these experiences to prevent any future similar catastrophes. 

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