The US faced all the ridicule in the world when the ruination of its healthcare bared out naked in front of us. Surpassing former hard-hit countries like Italy and Spain, the death toll in the US is constantly soaring high after hitting the mark of 20,000 last week. Trump’s initial response to the pandemic was submissive to the cusp of irresponsibility in shrugging off the widespread virus and inability to procure test-kits and safety gear for its healthcare workers.
This disaster reared its ugly head formerly in 2018 when Trump fired the entire pandemic response team and advocated substantial cuts in the budget for preparedness in such cases. The current paralysis in the federal government’s approach has also been due to an ungoverned medical system that ensured the prosperity of the healthcare-insurance lobbyists. The spread of COVID-19 in states like New York, Washington ravaged the established myths that shielded the vulnerability of the West. Trump has now piled the entire share of blames on the WHO, calling it out for raising a global alarm very late and other Republicans have called for the resignation of the WHO head Tedros Adhanom.
While Trump has exercised a socialist expenditure on defense, a budget of $738 billion, the already challenged healthcare system has been out on the battlefront, but with ill-equipped soldiers. This frenzy has, surely, endangered his re-election bid and called for attention in fostering an international balance of power after he warned India of ‘consequences’ over not shipping hydroxychloroquine.
While the US is now trying to put band-aids on gun wounds, the clouds of uncertainty have been voraciously hovering on India. The PM has extended the unprecedented lockdown in light of the global crisis that has engulfed even the wealthy and developed countries along with upgrading the infrastructure to deal with the pandemic walking over us. While the Centre has made many generous contributions in dealing with the spread of the pandemic, it still is a shaky building on a fractured foundation.
A National Health Profile 2019 report demonstrates how the Indian investment in public healthcare is one of the lowest in the world, lower than low-income countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan. When Mr. Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (PM-JAY or the Aayushman Bharat) back in September 2018, the Centre allocated a budget of Rs 6400 crore to furnish the Indian healthcare system. In January 2020, NITI Aayog rolled out a PPP (Public-Private Participation) which paved a way for the private sector to engulf the Indian health system in its wake. When amalgamated with the lethal dose of underfunding, it would be a consequential fight when the lockdown finally ends.
While the PM is being assisted to check on the spread of the pandemic by an array of experienced people, our Home Minister took a step ahead in authorizing private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests. Our duty as responsible citizens lies following the guidelines and abiding by the rules to check the spread of this deadly virus.
Image Source – Medscape