Safeguarding Public Health
HHS's core mission is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated the Department's challenge to ensure public health and safety. HHS must act vigilantly to mitigate the loss of life and negative health consequences associated with COVID-19, while continuing to operate a range of programs and services that are essential to protecting individuals and communities. This includes facilitating the safe delivery of necessary medical care unrelated to COVID-19 (e.g., routine screenings, vaccinations, and mental health and substance use disorder services), ensuring that medical products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are safe and effective, and working to identify and combat health disparities. To operate effective public health programs, the Department must ensure that its agencies coordinate with each other, as well as with partners at all levels of government.