The 2019 Novel Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and has mostly infected Chinese people but has also spread to over a dozen other countries, including the United States. Five people have confirmed infections in the United States and dozens of others were tested, with results pending.
“To effectively beat infectious diseases like coronavirus, we need all hands on deck. But like so much else, Trump’s approach to keeping us safe from disease outbreaks is a mess. When he’s gone, we must fix the damage he’s done—and I’ve got a plan for that,” Warren said in a statement on Tuesday.
Warren claimed that the Trump administration has put the country at risk by proposing cuts to federal programs essential to health security and eliminating a position that coordinated global health security.
Warren’s plan would “fully fund” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which runs pandemic prevention and response programs, increase funding for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement that helps health departments prepare for outbreaks and other situations, and invest over $100 billion to try to reduce transmission of infectious disease in America.
Warren also linked her Medicare for All plan, which would feature the government taking over the entire healthcare industry, to diseases, stating, “When people can’t access basic health care, infectious diseases are more likely to spread and cause severe, lasting health effects.”
Other highlights included developing vaccines for infectious disease, appropriating and replenishing funding to handle outbreaks, and establishing a global health team that would include doctors, scientists, and aid workers.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, another Democratic presidential nominee, penned an op-ed on Monday attacking President Donald Trump over his administration’s response to the coronavirus before touting his experience during the Obama administration.
“As president, I will reassert U.S. leadership in global health security. My policies will always uphold science, not fiction or fearmongering. I will ask Congress to beef up the Public Health Emergency Fund and give me the power to use the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to declare a disaster if an infectious disease threat merits it,” Biden said in the piece.
“I will also renew funding—set to expire in May—for the nationwide network of hospitals that can isolate and treat people with infectious diseases, and fully fund the Global Health Security Agenda so the world is ready for the next outbreak. And I will rebuild public trust, make sure we have dedicated resources to help us respond to crises quickly, and better harness the capabilities of the private sector to protect the American people. Our national security requires nothing less.”