The Coalition issued a short statement in response to an op-ed by Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Fox News published an op-ed in which the Secretary defended his lackluster response to the coronavirus pandemic, which many experts have warned puts park workers, volunteers, and visitors at risk of infection.

Phil Francis, chairman of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, explained in a statement responding to Bernhardt’s Fox News piece:

“It is clear that Secretary Bernhardt has abdicated his leadership role over our national parks by sacrificing the health and safety of our park and concession employees, volunteers, and park visitors for a short-term political benefit. Moving forward, I hope that the Administration will put public health ahead of other special interests.”