AACI COVID-19 Resources

AACI will continue to share news, guidelines, and cancer center policies to keep our members informed on COVID-19 as it relates to cancer research and treatment and AACI programs and events.
AACI Meetings
The health and safety of meeting attendees is of paramount importance. AACI continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health guidelines. 

The 2022 AACI/AACR Hill Day will be held virtually Wednesday, June 15. We are currently planning to hold the 14th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, July 12-14, and the 2022 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, October 2-4, in person. For those who are unable to attend the CRI meeting in person, AACI will provide a virtual option. We will implement protective measures in accordance with current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the host cities for each event. 
Letters to Congress and the President
AACI joined 130 cancer centers and other institutions in a February 2021 letter to President Biden, key members of his administration, and leading state public health officials to strongly encourage prioritizing patients with cancer and survivors of cancer when administering lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines.

The letter notes that while widespread, rapid vaccination is a worthy goal, the current, limited supply of vaccines means that many who are at high risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19—including patients with active cancer and cancer survivors—may continue to wait for many months if they are not provided with priority access.

Read the Press Release
Read the Letter

In January 2021, AACI submitted a letter to President Biden outlining critical policy priorities for his administration’s first 100 days.

These priorities include addressing cancer disparities; reversing the damage of COVID-19 on cancer research, screening, and prevention; expanding coverage for telemedicine services; and strengthening the underfunded aspects of the previous administration's pediatric cancer initiatives.

Read the Letter

In a November 2020 letter, AACI called on the Trump administration to share vital information about its coronavirus response with President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team.

AACI joins the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and other major medical associations to ask the Trump administration to cooperate with the Biden transition team to ensure continuity of care for patients, particularly as it relates to COVID-19. 

Read the Press Release
Read the Letter

Two 2020 presidential proclamations would suspend visa processing for individuals from China and for certain categories of high-skilled, non-immigrant visas from around the world. J-1, F-1, and H-1B visas are critical tools that cancer centers use to attract top talent in scientific research and patient care to the United States.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AACI believes that cancer centers should be focusing their time and resources in support of policies that foster innovation and economic growth and that promote the health and safety of the American people. Prohibiting the entry of valued STEM students, postdoctoral associates, scientists, and researchers does not address our nation’s public health needs or stimulate economic recovery. 

AACI encourages you to write your member of Congress to remind them that placing limitations on new, non-immigrant visas only serves to impede progress against cancer, COVID-19, and other major illnesses.

Read the Letter

In May 2020, AACI sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the federal government to take the lead in deploying personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals, establishing a consistent national COVID-19 testing strategy, and managing the COVID-19 testing supply chain.

Signed by the leaders of AACI cancer centers across the United States, the letter noted that cancer patients are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 infection due to weakened immune systems and other complications, including cancer therapy side effects that can cause severe, sometimes fatal inflammation of the lungs or other tissues.
Read the Press Release
Read the Letter

In an April 2020 letter, AACI called upon congressional leaders to consider the needs of academic cancer centers in any new COVID-19 supplemental response legislation. Priorities include supplemental appropriations for major research agencies and additional funding for hospitals and health systems. AACI also emphasized the priorities outlined in the April 15 letter sent to Congress on behalf of the cancer advocacy community. 

Read the Letter

In April 2020, nearly 50 cancer advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Hill regarding the fourth coronavirus relief package. The letter included priorities such as oral chemotherapy parity, requiring insurers to provide a 90-day supply of retail medications, creating a special enrollment period for HealthCare.gov, increasing funding for state Medicaid programs, and providing assistance for people who have lost employer-sponsored health coverage.

AACI drafted the letter with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Cancer Support Community, Friends of Cancer Research, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Read the Letter

In a March 2020 letter to President Donald Trump, AACI implored him to immediately invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to marshal American manufacturing to forcefully confront the COVID-19 emergency. The association also called for military mobilization to help build temporary hospital facilities and to assist hospital personnel.

"[T]he situation is already desperate in many of our hospitals," cancer center directors wrote. "Failure to act decisively and immediately will undoubtedly result in the tragic, massive, and ultimately avoidable loss of many American lives."

In a March 27 presidential memorandum, President Trump directed his administration to use "any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators." 

As of April 2, the president expanded the DPA order to include General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, Philips, and Vyaire Medical, all device companies that already produce ventilators.

Read the Press Release
Read the Letter 

AACI Commentary 

Repairing Damage to Clinical Trials Office Staffing
By Kristie Moffett
March 2022

Confronting Delayed Cancer Screening and Cancer Disparities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Chyke A. Doubeni, MBBS, MPH
September 2021

Learning From the Pandemic: Reflections on the 13th Annual AACI CRI Meeting
By Theresa L. Werner
August 2021

The Little State That Could: How West Virginia Became a National Model for COVID-19 Vaccination
By Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, MD, FACS
March 2021

Sustaining the Use of Telemedicine in Post-Pandemic Cancer Care
By Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD; Cheryl L. Willman, MD; and Robert A. Winn, MD
January 2021

Confronting Our Twin Pandemics: Reflections on the 2020 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting 
By Stephen D. Leach, MD
October 2020

Telemedicine and Cancer Care: Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Ruben Mesa, MD
August 2020

COVID-19: How AACI’s Corporate Partners Are Helping Cancer Centers and Their Patients Weather the Pandemic
May 2020

COVID-19: What AACI Cancer Centers Are Doing to Mitigate Risks
By AACI Staff
March 2020

Press Releases

Cancer Organizations Urge Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccine for Cancer Patients, Survivors
February 17, 2021

AACI Partners With Federal Vaccine Panel to Promote Cancer Patient Health 
January 14, 2021

AACI Applauds Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine, Supports Widespread Vaccination Efforts
December 15, 2020

AACI Urges President Trump to Share Key COVID-19 Information With Biden Transition Team
November 20, 2020

AACI Supports Dr. Fauci and Continued Guidance on COVID-19
July 16, 2020

AACI Calls for Coordinated National COVID-19 Testing Strategy
May 1, 2020

AACI Urges Immediate Implementation of Defense Production Act 
March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Discussion Forum

In March 2020 AACI launched a Slack workspace as a forum for AACI cancer center members and National Cancer Institute leaders to share challenges and best practices related to COVID-19 and cancer. To ensure confidentiality and encourage open discussion, all requests to join the forum require administrative approval from AACI. 

Last updated April 27, 2022