Are We On The Right Track to Combat the Coronavirus?

Are We On The Right Track to Combat the Coronavirus?

( – There’s a lot of talk about the coronavirus and the impact it might have in the US. So far, the virus has spread to many other countries that have done a reasonable job of handling the potential pandemic in spite of economic setbacks. But are we doing enough?

Here Are the Contributing Factors:

President Trump has, to this date, assured Americans that our country is prepared to handle a potential outbreak of the virus. While the president has done right by the country during his term, not everyone is convinced that the coronavirus will be so easy to deal with.

The Challenges

There are several areas of major concern when it comes to a possible pandemic in the United States. While we do have the best medical care and health infrastructure in the world, we would still face critical shortages of medical equipment, medications and health workers should the outbreak become wide-spread.

Add to that the task of keeping our healthcare workers safe while caring for patients. Hospitals in major cities could easily become inundated with patients requiring acute care. Rural areas could be in much worse shape since many don’t have the resources available in more populated areas.

Screening is essential, but now it seems some diagnosed cases have no apparent link to anyone who traveled to an infected area, meaning a “community” infection.

While a vaccine is the ultimate goal, development and production could take up to a year.

In addition to medical considerations, there are other concerns as well. The CDC warns that a pandemic could cause a “significant disruption to our lives.”  Some of these disruptions will be on a personal level, but all require resources, both financial and in terms of personnel to deal with.

Stock markets in the US and around the world are already seeing signs of uncertainty in terms of what the future holds.

The Funding

Congress has asked for $2.5 billion to fight the virus with over $1 billion of that being allocated towards developing a vaccine. In addition, funds will be spent on caring for patients, quarantining possible victims and preventing more patients with the virus from entering the US unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary, has sent mixed messages about the affordability of a potential coronavirus vaccine. He wants to make a vaccine economical, but couldn’t promise a fixed price because he wants to bring in the private sector to invest in the endeavor. After backlash, Azar insisted that the vaccine would be made affordable for everyone, saying “we would ensure there’s access to the fruits of that [research], whether vaccine or therapeutics.

As of March 1st, the coronavirus has infected over 87,000 and killed over 2,900. Most of these victims are in China, where the rate of infection has been reported to have slowed down, even at the epicenter of the outbreak. Only 72 Americans have been infected with one fatality.

The Task Force

To ensure that the virus outbreak is controlled, President Trump has put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the containment of it. At the press conference where this was announced, Trump said that “We’re very, very ready for this, for anything.” Additionally, Trump has appointed Ambassador Deborah Birx, who has worked both under the Obama and Trump administrations, to coordinate the response to the coronavirus.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow were also appointed to the virus containment task force.

What Do You Think?

President Trump has a team ready to go with a funding proposal to back their efforts. However, with all the issues to consider when it comes to outbreaks of a new disease, do you think the US is doing enough to gear up for the coronavirus?

What Can You Do?

While the government certainly has a lot to consider when it comes to any pandemic, there are things we can do as well. Proper knowledge and some basic preventative measures can go a long way.

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