The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.
El sistema de salud pública de los Estados Unidos ha subsistido en la precariedad durante décadas y carece de los recursos necesarios para enfrentar la peor crisis de salud en un siglo.
Public health officials have been alarmed by the increase in COVID-19 cases linked to family gatherings and socializing. While Gov. Gavin Newsom is defending the state’s reopening, local health officials worry the situation could get worse this summer.
Public health officials are confronting growing pressure — and threats — across the country as the backlash to the coronavirus response continues. Senior health officials from seven California counties have resigned or retired since March 15.
A new federal report sheds light on the reasons newborn syphilis rates are on the rise despite simple treatment options. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, public health departments will struggle to respond.
Amid questions about the accuracy of the COVID-19 antibody tests flooding the market — and the usefulness of the results they provide — the FDA has belatedly stepped in to try to rein in the chaos.
It’s hard to overstate how uneven access to critical coronavirus test kits remains in the nation’s largest state. Even as some Southern California counties are opening drive-thru sites to make testing available to any resident who wants it, a rural northern county is testing raw sewage to determine whether the coronavirus has infiltrated its communities.
An early morning text. A lawyer-filled meeting on a Sunday afternoon. Emotional journal entries. And, ultimately, action. In the 24 hours before San Francisco Bay Area public health officials issued the country’s first stay-at-home order, they debated how to tackle the alarming rise in COVID-19 infections. Their decision set the course for the nation.
The pandemic has exposed massive cracks in the foundations of the U.S. public health system. Getting the country back to normal, experts say, will require a major investment in Public Health 101: training a corps of workers who can track people with the virus and prevent them from passing it to others.
Autoridades en todo el país están tratando de descubrir cómo reanudar algo similar a la vida normal sin desencadenar una ola catastrófica de enfermedad y muerte.