Scholars say the key to surviving pandemics is to do as much as possible before crisis hits. Bioethics Academic Director Dr. Robert Klitzman discusses how the U.S. federal government has previously prepared for them, and how that is influencing the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus.
As the number of new coronavirus cases climbs, the requests for contract and spending proposals are slowly beginning to trickle out. "With the approval of a $8.3 billion coronavirus aid package on Friday, which includes more than $3 billion for HHS to spend on the development of treatments and a vaccine as well as masks, gowns, and other protective equipment, more government contracts will undoubtedly come soon," reports The Intercept.
How has the federal government responded to pandemics in the past?
The reason the coronavirus is a problem now is because, when we were dealing with SARS and MERS and research showed that bats harbored other viruses, nothing was done about it. Funding was not spent for research for the development of vaccines then, even though many public health people said it was only a matter of time before those viruses got into the human population.Dr. Robert Klitzman -
Read more about the government's response to the COVID-19 public health crisis in The Intercept, and learn more about the M.S. in Bioethics at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies.