How Covid-19 could make Americans healthier
[ Editor’s Note: Finally we see the emergence of some Covid reporting on a long deferred discussion, “Where do we go from here”? I would suggest starting with the Trump team’s fumbling the pandemic response ball during its pitiful behaviour during the initial briefings from the Obama transition team on the lessons the latter had learned.
Frankly, no one on the Trump team gave a crap about public health. There were no millions to be scammed, no power structure to be built for a partisan political advantage, and it was viewed as a graveyard for wannabe fast climbing political hacks.
Missing in the well done review below is any mention of how critical it is to quickly shut down all travel from a newly infected country, and that includes tourist and student repatriations. That error alone would doom any public health defense wall having time to to get up and running.
But the problem with the solution is that it creates new problems, like financially hitting the airlines, killing tourism and cancelling international conferences and events. Just look at the cruise industry with its ships that become floating passenger killers.
Any kind of worldwide approach on defending against the next pandemic has to deal with what role does government and the public at large have to play to provide support for those livehoods on the front lines before the hospitals see their first pandemic patient in their own country.
One thing is for sure, if plans are not made in advance as to exactly how to quarantine exposed people traveling home before they leave a pandemic will always spread quicker.
We have to have ready many plans for how to not make passenger planes and airports superspreader events as we saw in New York where American repatriates from Europe were packed in like sardines going through customs for connecting flights.
The US would have had a major challenge with even a competent White House, but with the Trump one, we can see now that we were doomed from the beginning. We had probably the worse person we could have as President, and we have paid a great price for it. Thus ends my cheery missive for today… Jim W. Dean ]
First published … February 18, 2021
If you tried to design a weapon customized to exploit every weakness in the U.S. health care system, you might have come up with : the novel coronavirus.
The pandemic caused by that spiky virus, now in its second year, has rampaged across the country in part because our disease defense system — the critical but neglected discipline known as “public health” — has been so starved of resources for so long that it had been effectively dismantled before the coronavirus arrived. Without robust disease surveillance, stockpiles of emergency equipment and a skilled public health work force, we were all but defenseless.
…“This pandemic has really exposed the failures of our health care system,” said Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), a physician who represents a heavily Latino district in southeastern California and who leads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “Our health care system is geared to take care of really sick people with really, really good and expensive technology,” he added. “What we are not good at is old-fashioned community health. Public health.”
…“Public health needs to be a strategy,” said Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, “not a department.”
You can read the full article here.
Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014