04:21 GMT20 June 2021
Listen Live
    US
    Get short URL
    by
    408
    Subscribe

    Since the height of the pandemic, the US has mostly parted ways with many of the strict restrictions put in place in order to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the deadly virus that causes COVID-19. In fact, many who are now fully vaccinated have been cleared to go maskless under certain circumstances.

    Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently warned that if the US fails to maintain its current investments in the public health system, it will more than likely be ill-prepared if and when the next pandemic arises.

    The top CDC official underscored during a Wednesday interview with The Hill that the US failed to initially roll out an adequate response to the pandemic because the federal government had been sidestepping its investments in the public health infrastructure for multiple years. 

    "I think the critical learning about how to do better next time is the need to greatly invest in public health, and not just respond to emergencies," Schuchat said. "This is a big job, and it can't be like Ebola or H1N1 where there's emergency funding and then everything goes away.”

    “This needs to be sustained, or we will be exactly where we were last year," the official added, highlighting that the US’ supply shortages, such as those regarding the ventilators at the onset of the pandemic, proved to be a much-needed “wakeup call” for authorities.

    FILE PHOTO: A waiter sets up tables in front of a restaurant on a street on the first day of the phase two re-opening of businesses following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 22, 2020.
    © REUTERS / Carlo Allegri
    FILE PHOTO: A waiter sets up tables in front of a restaurant on a street on the first day of the phase two re-opening of businesses following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 22, 2020.

    She further emphasized that “the more coordinated, science-based and learning or response you have, you know, a response that's committed to continual improvement, the more effective the prevention will be.”

    Schuchat’s remarks largely echoed those she gave during an interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition” the week prior. At the time, she had also indicated that there is still “a lot of work to do” in order for the US to get back on track and prepared for any outbreaks that could emerge in the years to come.

    Touching on the current state of the vaccination program within the US, Schuchat called on the American public to remain vigilant as many countries are dealing with different stages of their own COVID-19 outbreaks. “It’s really important that we remember the global situation,” she noted.

    Latest figures provided by the CDC state that more than 64.1% of Americans have been partially vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. US President Joe Biden has set a target of July 4 to get at least 70% of US adults partially vaccinated.

    Related:

    US State Dept Emails Reportedly Show 'Interagency Infighting' Over Probe Into COVID Origin
    US Pharmacist Gets 3 Years in Prison for Trying to Ruin COVID-19 Vaccines
    Indian Hindu Nationalist Group RSS Backs COVID Lab-Leak Theory, Questions US Role in Pandemic
    US Government Halts Shipments of J&J COVID Vaccine Amid Surplus of Doses - Reports
    Half of All US COVID Unemployment Benefit Funds Reportedly Didn't Land in Hands of Those in Need
    Tags:
    investment, public health, pandemic, COVID-19, US
    Community standardsDiscussion