COVID-19: Who is to Blame and What’s Next?
By Jennifer Dunphy  |  Aug 30, 2021
COVID-19: Who is to Blame and What’s Next?
Image courtesy of and under license from Shutterstock.com
It is no surprise COVID-19 hit the US healthcare system hard. Top infectious disease experts have been sounding the alarm on a novel virus for decades, yet we were still woefully unprepared. To point a finger of blame at the US public health system is harsh. It has a thankless job, it only gets criticized and never praised, despite its sterling work keeping the public in general fit and well.

CALIFORNIA - It is no surprise COVID-19 hit the US healthcare system hard. Top infectious disease experts have been sounding the alarm on a novel virus for decades, yet we were still woefully unprepared. We lacked adequate task forces, medical infrastructure, and mitigation protocols to successfully deal with a threat as gargantuan as the novel coronavirus.

Many cultures shunned mask-wearing, a simple and cheap way to curb infections, and were mistrustful of our most powerful weapon yet, vaccinations. Ultimately, who or what is to blame for the continued outbreak? Could it be our beloved US public health system?

America’s public health system has a thankless job; it has always more or less worked behind the scenes. If you give up cigarettes and don’t die from smoking, no large parade will celebrate the victory of your preventable death, and no acknowledgment that public health messaging saved your life will be forthcoming. Public health is only pushed into the spotlight when it fails, as it did for the American people with COVID-19.

The public health system is complex in that there are many layers: local, regional, and federal, and they all need to work together harmoniously to produce effective messaging, deliver information, and provide services. So, why, at the most critical time in recent history did it all fall apart?


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