Coronavirus concerns

To the editor:

Today the secretary of Health and Human Services stated the coronavirus presents this country with an unprecedented health challenge. To combat the potential for a nationwide pandemic our country will need talented and robust response. Unfortunately, this administration has decimated the precise agencies needed to address this potential disaster.

The National Security Council’s global health security unit was eliminated by President Trump while re-assigning or dismissing world class researchers. This action prompted Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer to leave the White House after decades, whose expertise of service under Democratic and Republican administrations led the management of potential pandemic diseases including Ebola, Bird flu and other global infections. Trump also eliminated the $30 million budget for the Complex Crisis Fund. He slashed funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its infectious disease research unit.

He cut the disease prevention budgets in the Center for Disease Control, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Council and Department of Health and Human Services. These cuts have impacts. Only three of the 100 public health labs in our country currently have the capacity to test for the coronavirus.

The Republicans in Congress have shown time and again, they will meekly allow this president to run this country amok without consideration for the needs of our country and its citizens. We need to look at our representatives in Congress and ask if they are working for the citizens they represent or are they working for this president. Minnesota’s first district needs a leader, not a follower. Dan Feehan is such a leader.

Judith Bird



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