Need to Address Public Health Infrastructure

From the WashPost: To fight covid-19, Congress has to reward state cooperation

As the August recess looms, Congress is running out of time to do right by the American people with regard to the coronavirus. The craziest thing is that the most important part of what should be in the expected multi-trillion-dollar relief package is the least expensive: the estimated $75 billion necessary for public health infrastructure.

We are not in a recession arising from internal failures of the financial and market system. It’s the real economy that’s been shocked, by illness and fear, and addressing those shocks is the only way out. Only a full and effective public health response will put our economy and society back on a sound footing. And the most important thing Congress could do costs no additional money: It should distribute some portion of that needed public health appropriation in the form of bonus funds to states that establish formal regional collaborations for addressing the crucial matter of testing.

Disruption of Health Care From the CA Fires

From Govtech: California Wildfires, Power Outages Are Disrupting Health Care
Across California, wildfires and outages have forced health-care providers to close hospitals and medical clinics, or greatly limit services. Both Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health evacuated their Santa Rosa hospitals.

Another concern is that of people with health and disabilities.  See: Disabled seniors in Ca. complex left behind during outageThanks to Chris Jones for this citation.

Mental Health Issues After H. Harvey

Mental health was Hurricane Harvey’s greatest toll, first of its kind registry finds

Hurricane Harvey’s greatest lingering toll was on Houstonians’ mental health, according to initial findings from a first-of-its-kind registry that surveyed people about the 2017 storm’s impact on their lives.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the registry, modeled on the one created in the aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, reported intrusive or unintended thoughts about the hurricane and its resulting flooding. That was a higher rate than physical symptoms reported by respondents.

Heat is the New Threat

From The Guardian: ‘It can’t get much hotter … can it?’ How heat became a national US problem. Heat now kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters – but cities are facing it almost entirely alone

Heat already kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other ecological disasters. That puts sweltering cities like Phoenix – where flights were cancelled last year because it was simply too hot – under growing pressure. But heat is rapidly becoming a national problem.

Recent research suggests warming conditions are leading to suicides, as rising nighttime temperatures deprive Americans of sleep and respite from scorching days. A new study, released last week, predicts that a warming climate will drive thousands to emergency rooms for heat illness. The very hottest days experienced in the US could be a further 15F warmer this century if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t curbed.