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Public Health Capacity Needs a Major Boost

October 18, 2021

Summary: To achieve a healthy nation, we need not only single payer healthcare, but also robust public health practice. During COVID, an already underfunded and understaffed public health system suffered a buffeting while – and because – it was trying to do its job of mitigating the pandemic. It’s time to rebuild public health capacity.

Threats, Resignations and 100 New Laws: Why Public Health Is in Crisis
The New York Times
October 18, 2021
By Mike Baker and Danielle Ivory

State and local public health departments across the country have endured not only the public’s fury, but widespread staff defections, burnout, firings, unpredictable funding and a significant erosion in their authority to impose the health orders that were critical to America’s early response to the pandemic.

While the coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 in the United States in nearly two years, a more invisible casualty has been the nation’s public health system. Already underfunded and neglected even before the pandemic, public health has been further undermined in ways that could resound for decades to come. A New York Times review of hundreds of health departments in all 50 states indicates that local public health across the country is less equipped to confront a pandemic now than it was at the beginning of 2020.

“We have learned all the wrong lessons from the pandemic,” said Adriane Casalotti, chief of public and government affairs for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, an organization representing the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the nation. “We are attacking and removing authority from the people who are trying to protect us.”

Comment by: Don McCanne

A side bar indicated that Colin Powell died of Covid-19, in spite of having been vaccinated. Did those whose actions are promoting the dissemination of the Covid virus really want this to happen?

I am literally shedding tears for our nation.

We just want excellent health care and public health practice for everyone. Is that really too much to ask?

© Health Justice Monitor
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