On June 22, in a virtual event, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie issued a proclamation in honor of the Back from the Brink initiative. The Proclamation included the 5 Back from the Brink policy recommendations, referenced the $39 million nuclear weapons tax burden on citizens of Des Moines for Fiscal Year 2020, and called upon the United States to welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Cownie is United States Vice President of Mayors for Peace.
Response by David Drake, D.O. representing Physicians for Social Responsibility
Thank you Mayor Cownie,
In recent weeks, we have been shocked by the discrimination and violence against unarmed Americans who are African American. There is no greater violence imaginable than the use of nuclear weapons. As we seek to end the state violence against so many in our communities we must also take decisive action to eliminate nuclear weapons before they are used, intentionally or by accident.
Experts like former Defense Secretary William Perry tell us that we are closer to nuclear war than we have ever been. The well-known Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has now been set at 100 seconds before midnight – the closest it has ever been. The scientific and medical community are warning us that even a limited nuclear war could cause world-wide climate disruption and a catastrophic famine putting some 2 billion people at risk.
The Back from the Brink campaign seeks to bring about fundamental change in U.S. nuclear policy and initiate negotiations among all nuclear armed states for a verifiable, enforceable, time bound agreement to dismantle their nuclear arsenals. I applaud Mayor Cownie for this proclamation putting Des Moines’ elected Mayor clearly on record in support of this historic undertaking. And I thank members from the Des Moines community connected to the Methodist Federation for Social Action, Catholic Peace Ministry, StarPac, WILPF, The Des Moines Faith Community for Peace, Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting, and Physicians for Social Responsibility in Iowa and nationally.
And a special thanks to Drs. Maureen McCue and John Rachow with PSR-Iowa and national PSR.