“I am a very concerned public health professional who is disgusted by your politicization of this epidemic.” – Email to the editor of Headline Health on Nov 18, 2020, the day we published the story “Unelected Fauci Seeks More Power In Red States”
Nov 23, 2020
Headline Health – Are you disgusted by the politicization of your healthcare?
This site recently hosted a story, Unelected Fauci Seeks Authority Over Red States, based on reporting by The Boston Globe:
“The nation’s top infectious disease expert on Tuesday described the need for a uniform, national response to the United States’s accelerating COVID-19 crisis, saying there are a number of fundamental things the country can do to mitigate the spread of the virus, instead of a “disjointed” state-by-state approach.”
Headline Health then parenthetically commented based on our months of coverage of divergent state responses to federal COVID-19 recommendations:
“Red states more than blue states tend to chart their own course based on local priorities rather than follow federal directives.”
It’s clear to us that Dr. Fauci’s grumblings about “a ‘disjointed’ state-by-state approach” were directed not at Blue States which have largely fallen in line with his recommendations for lockdowns, masks, and social distancing (such as New York, led by Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo) but at Red States which have set their own COVID-19 policies in response to local conditions and priorities (such as Florida, led by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.)
Our Red State/Blue State analysis apparently struck a nerve with one reader who submitted the following comment via email (we have elected to withhold this reader’s name):
“I am a very concerned public health professional who is disgusted by your politicization of this epidemic.”
A LinkedIn search reveals that a public health professional whose name matches that of the writer of this email holds a master’s degree in “population planning” – perhaps the most politicized of all healthcare fields.
The profile also lists the writer’s experience with the United States Agency for International Development, a federal agency that has inserted itself into a myriad of healthcare issues for sixty years. (We reached out via email to the writer for further details on their views and have received no response.)
To be clear, we, too, are disgusted by the politicization of not only coronavirus policy but all aspects of Americans’ healthcare.
However, it was hardly us who politicized the COVID-19 epidemic – we simply reported it, which is our job. (Yes, we realize that shooting the messenger remains a popular pursuit.)
The reigning world champion of the politicization of healthcare turns out to be the very same person who coined the terms Red State and Blue State – Barack Obama, creator of the Affordable Care Act.
“The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into red states and blue states — red states for Republicans, and blue states for Democrats.” – U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention
Government takeover of healthcare funding and personal health decision-making is certainly a cause for disgust for many. It’s also the result of decades of federal planning – under Red administrations as well as Blue ones – aimed at creating just such an outcome.
Consider this clairvoyant bit of commentary published nearly half a century ago (California Medicine, April 1971):
“THE POLITICIZATION OF HEALTH CARE, which was both predicted and feared, has come to pass. It is now all too evident in both State and Nation. Some argue that this is good, that health care is too important to be left to the professionals, to the health care industry, or even to the individual citizen, and that it is not only desirable but essential that its governance be a function of our political system. Others take an opposite position that it has yet to be demonstrated that government with its politics and bureaucracy can run anything economically or efficiently, let alone with the sensitivity and personalization which is so necessary in such a thing as the care of an individual who is sick or injured. But the large scale financial involvement of government and others in personal health care made politicization inevitable, with the result that the sick or injured patient, who by law or circumstance is locked into a politicized system of health care, often becomes a helpless and hapless victim of political conflict … The politicization of health care will not go away. Nor will the hapless victims of its struggles.” [emphasis added] – California Medicine, 1971 Apr (US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)
So to the reader to contacted us to express their disgust – we’re disgusted, too.
Are you disgusted by the politicization of your healthcare? Comment below.
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