Who’s responsible for spreading COVID-19?

Who’s responsible for spreading COVID-19?

Brian Labus is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Nevada, Las
Vegas. This story originally featured on The Conversation.
President Donald Trump recently appointed vice-chairman Mike Pence to steer the government’s
response to the COVID-19 outbreak and control public statements by government health
officials about the crisis.
In the days since health departments throughout the country have investigated potential cases
announced new cases and declared public health emergencies, all without the approval of
the vice-chairman.
So who really is responsible for the outbreak response?
As with most things in American government, the solution is complicated.
Power to the states
Some framers of the Constitution were concerned about giving the federal an excessive amount
of power, therefore the 10th Amendment reserves to the states any powers not specifically
delegated to the federal within the U.S. Constitution.
The federal is liable for preventing communicable disease threats from entering the country
and moving from state to state. this is often why the federal could quarantine the U.S. citizens
returning to the country from Wuhan, China, for 14 days.
States are liable for protecting the health of individuals within their borders. So once the federal
quarantine was completed and therefore the travelers entered their communities, the work of
monitoring them and their contacts fell to the states.
This is why the response to an equivalent situation could seem different in each state: it’s.
When states implement isolation (keeping sick people faraway from everyone else)
or quarantine (keeping well but potentially exposed, people faraway from everyone
else), they are doing it supported state laws. Public health professionals might agree that
every state must take an equivalent action, but each state will do so consistent with its own
Another complexity is that states decide what proportion power to offer counties, cities,
and other localities in their states to deal with outbreaks like COVID-19 also as other public
health issues. So those agencies also will make their own decisions which will appear to break
away federal and state policies.
Some states haven’t any local health departments et al. have many them. Some states have only
county health departments et al. have health departments in individual cities.
Practically, this suggests that albeit the federal plays a crucial role, the work of protecting the
health of the general public ultimately rests with individual states.
The major challenge of Money
A 2019 report by the Trust for America’s Health, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan public
health policy, research, and advocacy organization,” found that funding for the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “has not kept pace with the nation’s growing public health
needs and emerging threats.” The agency’s budget fell nearly 10 percent over the past decade
after adjusting for inflation.
In recent days, Congress has passed an $8.3 billion coronavirus response bill, which
incorporates $2.2 billion for the CDC to “prevent, steel oneself against, and answer coronavirus,
domestically or internationally.”
If public health may be a local responsibility, it certainly has not been funded that way. on the
average, local communities spend about $48 per citizen on public health annually, with only
about half it coming from local sources. the remainder is funded by the federal or through fees
charged on to patients for clinical services. Additionally, local health departments have lost
43,000 employees, or 22 percent of the local public health workforce, since the good Recession
from 2007 to 2009.
The coronavirus funding bill gone by Congress includes $950 million to help state and
native health departments. this is often especially welcome news to state health departments
already stretched thin by the day-to-day public health activities designed to stop and identify
outbreaks within the first place.
While public health is rooted in prevention, funding for public health activities often come just
one occasion the emergency has occurred. As a public health practitioner and scholar, it’s
clear to me that it’s impossible to stop disease if the cash to fight an epidemic arrives just one
occasion an epidemic is already spreading within the community.
Getting things done
When an epidemic occurs, even a worldwide pandemic takes on unique characteristics in each
community. Communities differ in size, climate, average age, and therefore the quite activities
that are popular, among other things. That affects how the disease spreads. The strength of the
present system is that state and native public health agencies understand and reflect their
Local health departments within the US were formed in response to local needs as
early because of the late 18th century, decades before federal public health agencies were
Local health departments interview sick people and work with doctors and labs to spot and
track disease.
State health departments often perform these functions also, but also, coordinate local
responses, provide technical and financial assistance to the local health departments, and
run the general public health laboratories.
The federal supports and complements the work being done at the state and native level.
It provides a scientific understanding of the virus, develops laboratory tests, implements
quarantines for international travelers works with governments inside and out of doors The
US to know the spread of disease and provide money and other critical resources.
Public health professionals at every level of the state know their role and believe the
professionals at other levels to assist with the items that are outside of their control.
Surprisingly, the system often works well. there’s an excellent deal of coordination and
knowledge sharing between the amount about how best to reply.
That’s to not say they always agree.
There are often extensive, and sometimes heated, discussions about what should be done.
While the debates usually happen privately, sometimes they spill over into the general
public eye, like when NY Governor Andrew Cuomo called the federal government’s response to
the coronavirus the outbreak “absurd and nonsensical.”
Ultimately, the choice to require a public health action, like to quarantine a patient is
formed with an equivalent, shared the backdrop of science—no matter where it occurs.
So, no, if you get sick with coronavirus, Donald Trump cannot cause you to stay home. But a
government official in your community can because that’s how the system works.

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The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is inciting panic for a number of reasons. It's a new virus, meaning no one has immunity, and there is no vaccine. Its novelty means that scientists aren't sure yet how it behaves they have little history to go on.