The American independent news website “Truthout” issued an article on the 27th that although the new crown epidemic is still ongoing, the US Congress has determined that the epidemic has ended. This “ostrich policy” of burying its head in the sand is pushing America into the next pandemic.
The article pointed out that the number of new crown cases across the United States has declined, mask orders have been widely relaxed, telecommuting has continued to decline, and almost all members of Congress are pushing for the repeal of masks on planes and other public transportation regulations. But with the spread of the Omicron virus subspecies BA2, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expects that the number of new crown cases in the United States will increase.
In this case, Congress vetoes plans to increase government spending on the pandemic, especially for the poor and the uninsured, with potentially disastrous results. With Republicans, Democrats, and even some public health officials insisting on putting the outbreak behind them and allowing people’s lives to return to “normal,” it remains to be seen whether the U.S. has escaped the effects of the outbreak.
Some in the U.S. are pushing for “living with the virus,” but they tend to ignore the risks to those who are immunocompromised and ineligible for vaccinations. For the millions of Americans with chronic illnesses, disabilities or other health problems who may not meet the CDC’s definition of immunocompromised, they are at higher risk. Also, with the emergency appropriations bill stuck in Congress, the U.S. will no longer be able to pay for coronavirus testing and treatment for the uninsured. In this case, uninsured people face imminent disaster if they contract Covid-19 or need a booster shot. Some uninsured people may forgo opportunities for timely medical care due to concerns about medical bills, further contributing to the spread of the virus in the community.
The disaster doesn’t stop there. U.S. government officials have said that if Congress does not approve funding for the new crown epidemic, the United States will not be able to provide enough vaccine boosters and related treatments to the population. All in all, this means that the U.S. is not ready for future variants of the new coronavirus, different types of epidemics, or even the current state of the spread of the epidemic in the United States.
As “Atlantic Monthly” contributor Ed Yong said, the current epidemic prevention measures in the United States “are no longer sufficient” to deal with the task at hand. “These measures need to be strengthened, not weakened further. The premise of abandoning the epidemic prevention measures is that the United States does not need to deal with another large surge in new crown cases.” However, he added that the United States is now heading for the next pandemic.
Instead of passing agencies and enduring programs to address current, short-term and long-term needs, Congress has buried its head in the sand. The current reduction of funds for the epidemic is precisely the “greed for small gains and big losses”. In a medical maxim, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Instead of using this period of relatively low levels of community transmission to bolster defenses against the virus, Congress is rolling the dice and betting that the worst of the pandemic is over.
The pandemic has shown that public spending at the federal level in the United States can generate enormous public benefits. Unfortunately, Congress appears to be back in austerity-based hawkish thinking. That means U.S. public health will be at risk in the months ahead, let alone decades into the future.