To the editor:

The pandemic is upon us, and there are not enough of anything that could save lives. Respirators, masks, testing kits, ICU beds: who knew that we would be needing this stuff?

Certainly not our Commander in Chief, who can’t even get a two sentence tweet right. As the months went by, playing golf and hosting rallies, life was too good to worry about a flu that was a hoax anyway. His budget requests for next year cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 16%, and he planned to trim an extra $50 million from global health security.

Trump’s cuts started back in 2018 with the elimination of disease security programs and an 80% reduction in CDC funds for preventing global disease outbreaks. $30 million was cut from the Complex Crises Fund that was to deploy disease experts in time of health epidemics. Overall in 2018, Trump called for a $15 billion in reduced healthcare spending. Who knew this would be such a bad idea?

There are 80 million Americans who are underinsured or have no health coverage at all. No other developed nation has left such a mass of citizens unprotected from a health catastrophe. For weeks Trump downplayed the danger, and did nothing to remediate the shortages of respirators and test kits. It was like there was nobody home.

In a system bought and paid for by the major corporations, we have the most egregious incompetent in charge of the public good. Ring around the rosie.

Fred Nagel

Rhinebeck

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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