From Robert Reich on Inequality Media – 3/1 excerpt
Koch Network – Trump follows their strategy
Trump has taken several other steps, all of them backward. He has eliminated a National Security Council position that coordinates responses to pandemics. He has ignored an expert panel’s warning that the US is badly unprepared for global health threats and needs to restore funding to address them, and is requesting that the CDC budget be cut by almost 16%, starting in October, and the Department of Health and Human Services budget by almost 10%.
Trump is also proposing a $3 billion cut to global health programs, including a 53% cut to the World Health Organization and a 75% cut to the Pan American Health Organization.
When he’s not accusing his enemies of hyping the coronavirus or doing what he can to undermine the nation’s and world’s ability to cope with it, Trump and his administration have been making America more vulnerable to all sorts of health risks.
He’s demanding that anyone receiving public assistance have a job, which presumably will make many people reluctant to stop working if they feel sick.
Beginning next month, for example, nearly 700,000 Americans who aren’t working will no longer be eligible for food stamps. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Trumpsters that the likely result is for many with symptoms to ignore them in order to keep their jobs, thereby spreading disease.
Trump’s obsessive efforts to wreck Obamacare also makes the coronavirus and other contagious diseases more dangerous, for the obvious reason that people without health insurance are less likely to see a doctor. The number of Americans without health insurance has risen steadily during Trump’s tenure. A 2018 poll found that 44% – nearly half – didn’t see a doctor because they couldn’t afford it. Another recent survey found that 90% of Americans go to work while they’re sick.
Trump and Republicans have rejected all safety nets – including paid family leave and guaranteed sick leave – that people need to cope with personal health emergencies. This also makes America less prepared for contagion.