Latest California Healthline Stories
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded a confidential address program to public health officials in the wake of ongoing threats made against them tied to pandemic safety precautions such as masks and stay-at-home orders.
KHN Midwest editor and correspondent Laura Ungar appeared on Spectrum News and Fox 35 Orlando to discuss cuts to Florida’s public health system that have hampered its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the nation awaits a vaccine to end the pandemic, local health departments say they lack the staff, money, tools ― and a unified plan ― to distribute, administer and track millions of vaccines, most of which will require two doses. Dozens of doctors, nurses and health officials interviewed by KHN and The Associated Press expressed their concern and frustration over federal shortcomings.
As the nation hollowed out its public health infrastructure for decades, staffing and funding fell faster and further in Florida. Then the coronavirus ran roughshod, infecting more than half a million people and killing thousands.
Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint KHN and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing. Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for more money.
A review by KHN and the Associated Press finds at least 49 state and local public health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 23 states. One of the latest departures came Sunday, when California’s public health director was ousted.
The disease intervention specialist at the Prince George’s County Health Department was among at least 20 department employees infected by the coronavirus, union officials say. The outbreak underscores the stark dangers facing the nation’s front-line public health army.
We’re releasing our public health infrastructure data on Github for journalists, researchers and interested readers to use.
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber joined Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies on “The Source” show to talk about the politicization of public health during the COVID pandemic.
As the coronavirus threatens the nation’s public health army, an outbreak in Maryland reflects the tension between serving the community and protecting workers from a deadly disease.