COVID-19: The Virus Started When Government Spending Was Cut

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Photo found at mercurynews.com

COVID-19 has been going on for over a year now. The pandemic has been a shock to everyone, and the government should have been better prepared for this. Now, with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, there isn’t much more the government can do to stop it from continuing to spread. It is too late.

The Task Force for Global Health’s Head of Health System Strengthening, Patrick O’Carroll, said, “When a country needs its health systems to effectively respond to an urgent threat, it is too late to suddenly build the needed response systems and workforce…It takes time and steady effort to build real public health capacity. Every time an outbreak like this happens, it is a wake-up call that we need continued investment in health system strengthening, at every level of our government; and we need to invest it wisely so that it will pay off in the long-term.” This means that we need to focus on always being ready for problems like this pandemic before they happen, and we can’t just do it the moment the pandemic shows up.

The CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, started on July 4, 1946, with 400 employees and 10 million dollars. In the beginning, they prepared for their first war, the war on mosquitoes. However, eventually, and thankfully, they were able to purchase a headquarters, and expand their research to cover all forms of diseases and provide practical help to state health departments when necessary. They have been working hard ever since then, making vaccines for all kinds of diseases, like chickenpox, measles, and the assorted types of flu, as shown in this CDC website.

Tthe budget for the CDC has overall been significantly decreased. According to Trust for America’s Help (TFAH), “Adjusting for inflation, CDC’s core budget…has been essentially flat for the last decade…core emergency preparedness funding has been cut by more than one-third since the program was established.” This is where the problem lies. The course of action to contain and squelch the pandemic could have been much more significant and effective if the government had simply been thinking more about the overall necessity of the CDC’s health protection for upcoming problems rather than current problems.

Now the government has improved and is responding to the coronavirus. The Department of Defense is providing support to deal with the coronavirus. The Department of Homeland Security is facilitating a “whole-of-government” response in confronting COVID-19, to “help detect and slow the spread of the virus.” Also, the FDA has finally approved a working vaccine, and has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for it.

Though the government is making strides to improve, COVID-19 is still a big problem. Hopefully, they’ll keep making better choices to protect us from this virus, and when this pandemic ends, we’ll have learned from our mistakes and be better prepared by stopping a pandemic before it starts.