Statement from the Milbank Memorial Fund on the Events of January 6

Yesterday’s events in Washington, DC, were a failure of elected leadership and public citizenry.  Such violence must not be tolerated or encouraged.

Elected leaders should inspire hope and trust. They should respect differences of opinion as well as compromise. They should put love of country and its institutions of government above personal ambition. They should acknowledge and respect the will of the people they serve.

Public citizens likewise should recognize their duty to engage institutions of government — to vote, to participate in policymaking, and to express dissatisfaction in constructive and respectful ways. They should care for their country and its residents enough to recognize its imperfections and work to make them better.

Throughout the Milbank Memorial Fund’s 115-year history it has been our privilege to work with public servants and elected leaders who are committed to improving the health of this country’s residents. They work tirelessly to prevent and combat pandemics, make our health care systems more equitable and effective, and allocate scarce resources based on evidence and collaboration.

They inspire us. They — not the lamentable actions that we witnessed yesterday — represent what the United States will always aspire to be.

Christopher F. Koller, President
Samuel L. “Tony” Milbank, Board Chair