How starving public health fueled a COVID fire in Florida: Florida is both a microcosm and a cautionary tale for America
Article by By LAURA UNGAR, JASON DEAREN and HANNAH RECHT of the Associated Press and Kaiser Health News, online at ABC News, August 23, 2020.
Compelling reporting from a team from the AP and KHN on just why we are facing such stark differences in suffering and death in communities of color. They show how the gutting of the public health infrastructure over two decades in Duval County meant that when Rose Wilson, a public health department nurse supervisor for 35 years, came down with COVID-19, the system needed to take care of her was severely weakened. A joint AP/KHN investigation found that the state slashed local health department staffing from 12,422 FTE workers to 9,125 as of 2019. Rebuilding that infrastructure will be critical if we want to be ready for the next pandemic.
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