People are worried about an unhinged president with access to the nuclear codes, and the authority to use them. I’ll confess, I am too.
However, I’m not as worried about nuclear annihilation as I am about pandemics. Take 2003, for example: 8,098 people worldwide that year became sick during a global outbreak of SARS. Of these cases, 774 people died.
Quick action by the several government agencies in the United States, working alongside an international coalition of health agencies and medical scientists, stopped the outbreak before SARS could become a pandemic.
Today, much of the machinery that stopped SARS in 2003 in still in place. However, thanks to the appointment of people who lack the requisite qualifications and experience to lead the agencies that were instrumental in halting the SARS outbreak, the ability of the United States to respond to the next global health crisis has been crippled.
Likewise, the president’s confrontational stance toward the importance of international collaboration has raised the kinds of barriers that will make the global response to the next potential pandemic that much more difficult.
This is not normal, and it should scare you as much as it scares me.
TGIF for the 24th of February, 2017.
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