Here are this morning’s headlines, courtesy of the newspaper front pages on newseum.org. The theme of this morning is covering the measures being taken by states and local governments to help those suffering during the pandemic.
World Health Organisation building from west by Yann. Credit Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Wisconsin State Journal published in Madison, Wisconsin
The Wisconsin state legislature passed a relief bill near-unanimously yesterday. Uniquely, many legislators cast their votes remotely. While there were disagreements between the Republican majority and Democratic minority over how much stimulus is necessary, both sides reached a compromise to buy time for those presently suffering due to the virus. However, Democrats warn that the bill does not provide enough funding for vital equipment needed to combat the virus. The bill will now come before the state senate for deliberation.
Addressing concerns over the lockdown, California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out 6 key areas that his administration are going to be looking for before lifting or altering the stay-home mandate. They would need to be able to accurately test and track potential cases, prevent or ameliorate transmission in high-risk groups, increase temporary capacity at hospitals, develop better treatments, and ensure that anywhere that opens does so while ensuring proper distancing measures are followed. Even a lifting of the stay-home mandate would come with restrictions mandating the use of masks and banning large gatherings, however.
Wisconsin State Assembly Chairs by Royalbroil. Credit Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
President Trump announced yesterday that his administration will be suspending funding to the World Health Organization. The president asserted that the reason for this change in policy is a lack of faith in the WHO, particularly a concern that they were too keen to court the favor of Beijing in the early days of the pandemic. When asked if this seemed appropriate in the middle of a pandemic, Trump asserted that this would only be a 60-90 day freeze and claimed that the money would be diverted to fighting the pandemic, though he offered no specifics or evidence to back up said claim. The American Medical Association responded in no uncertain terms that Trump cutting funding for the WHO is a “dangerous step in the wrong direction,” per a quote from AMA President Patrice A. Harris.
The arrival of the novel coronavirus is devastating healthcare systems across the country, and Ohio is unfortunately poorly prepared to deal with the strain. In no small part, this is because of an enduring trend of cuts to public health spending in the state. In fact, Ohio is one of the worst states for public healthcare funding with only $13 per capita healthcare spending in 2018. Part of the problem is how Ohio funds its healthcare, with many localities funding their healthcare systems via liquor licenses and other such incidental revenue. Questions have also been raised about the mismanagement of the employees that Ohio’s healthcare systems presently have, including a number of full-time health department employees being put on furlough just this month despite growing numbers of COVID-19 infected.
According to new modeling, the growth of the coronavirus-infected population is slowing in the Seattle area. If this modeling is accurate, it presents a hopeful sign for other large, metropolitan areas suffering from the novel coronavirus. However, with this hopeful news, experts are warning everyone that progress doesn’t mean we’ve won. Even after the present danger recedes, on-and-off social distancing may be necessary into 2022 to avoid a renewed load on emergency rooms.
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