Columbia Union Executive Committee Members Urge Caution and Compassion

Story by V. Michelle Bernard
Two committee members representing Allegheny East Conference spoke to the importance of proceeding with caution when making decisions about reopening churches and schools.
Gina Brown, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at Howard University in Washington, D.C., shared that mental illness is on the rise and urged church members not to ignore it. In addition, she added, “Our senior [citizens] are significantly lonely, and everybody is being hit [by the isolation].”
She encouraged committee members to reach out: “We can have distance isolation, but not social isolation,” she said. “I believe God is going to use COVID-19 in such a way as to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Milton Brown, MD, who has a doctorate in Organic Chemistry and is the CEO, chairman and co-founder of Trocar Pharma, Inc., and is researching therapeutic drug treatments for COVID-19, said, “We want no life lost because of our decisions.”
He shared that until 70 percent of the country has either been infected or researchers have found a safe and effective vaccine or treatment that mitigates or reverses the impact of the disease, the virus will not go away.
He emphasized that no lives should be lost as a result of reentering our schools and churches too soon. “We have to take caution,” he advised.
Committee members then proceeded to vote their commitment to prioritizing this goal.