The Atlantic: How the Pandemic Defeated America
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The COVID-19 crisis has infected nearly 5 million Americans and taken over 158,000 lives.
As The Atlantic's Ed Young reports, the pandemic "has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees."
A series of failures in some of our most important systems -- healthcare, the economy, infrastructure; and how all of those disproportionately impact communities of color -- have underscored how limited those very systems are.
Here's more from Ed Young and our solutions on how to build a better future for all Americans by reforming these systems.
"Compared with the average wealthy nation, America spends nearly twice as much of its national wealth on health care, about a quarter of which is wasted on inefficient care, unnecessary treatments, and administrative chicanery. The U.S. gets little bang for its exorbitant buck."
In our Compact for the American Future - Healthcare memo, we discuss the need of reinstating the global pandemic response team and significantly increasing the budgets of the CDC, the NIH, and the WHO. We also discuss how to reform our healthcare system to lower costs while improving access to quality healthcare for all.
"Since the last recession, in 2009, chronically strapped local health departments have lost 55,000 jobs—a quarter of their workforce. When COVID‑19 arrived, the economic downturn forced overstretched departments to furlough more employees. When states needed battalions of public-health workers to find infected people and trace their contacts, they had to hire and train people from scratch."
Our Compact for the American Future - Economy memo goes over the ways to combat this crisis, including shoring up lower interest rates for those hardest hit by the pandemic and to never overlook cities strapped for cash during COVID-19.
"Consider our buildings. In response to the global energy crisis of the 1970s, architects made structures more energy-efficient by sealing them off from outdoor air, reducing ventilation rates. Pollutants and pathogens built up indoors, 'ushering in the era of ‘sick buildings,’ says Joseph Allen, who studies environmental health at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Energy efficiency is a pillar of modern climate policy, but there are ways to achieve it without sacrificing well-being. 'We lost our way over the years and stopped designing buildings for people,' Allen says."
In our Compact for the American Future - Infrastructure memo, we discuss the need to modernize our schools and increase the infrastructure maintenance workforce to keep our public spaces accessible and safe -- not riddled with pollutants and pathogens.
"Racist policies that have endured since the days of colonization and slavery left Indigenous and Black Americans especially vulnerable to COVID‑19. The decades-long process of shredding the nation’s social safety net forced millions of essential workers in low-paying jobs to risk their life for their livelihood."
Our racial disparities memo discusses the systemic hardships that have contributed to COVID-19 impacting Black Americans at a disproportionate rate in both health outcomes and economic battles they have faced.
Read the full article here and share these solutions with your network so we can start building a better and more fair future for all Americans.
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