Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Tuesday, amid the festering concerns over the coronavirus, released a plan to address outbreaks of infectious disease, plugging Medicare for All and linking “climate change” to the spread of disease.
Warren, citing the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, which has resulted in at least 80 deaths in China, released a plan aimed at “preventing, containing, and treating infectious disease” in the U.S. and abroad. While she focuses on funding a variety of entities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), she also attributes the spread of infectious disease, in part, to climate change:
To effectively beat infectious diseases like coronavirus, we need all hands on deck. But like so much else, Trump’s approach to keeping us safe from disease outbreaks is a mess. When he's gone, we must fix the damage he's done—and I've got a plan for that. https://t.co/Ud6G53iCNv
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 28, 2020
“A changing climate means infectious diseases will spread to new places, and it’s already happening,” she states in her plan.
In 2016, the Zika virus threatened more of the U.S. because changing climates mean the mosquitos that carry it now thrive further and further north. And Lyme disease is expected to increase by 20% in the next decade due to climate change. West Nile is projected to more than double by 2050 due to warming, costing upwards of $1 billion annually. Our health depends on fighting climate change. And I have a lot of plans for that.
Warren says it is essential for the U.S. to recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement and pledges to meet “Obama era commitments to the Green Climate Fund.” She also calls on Americans to “recognize interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.”
The presidential hopeful also uses her plan to consistently plug Medicare for All, which would result in the abolishment of private insurance, making Americans wholly dependent on a government-run healthcare system costing trillions of dollars. Medicare for All would also cover illegal immigrants, Warren confirmed at a town hall last November.
Move to Medicare for All. When people can’t access basic health care, infectious diseases are more likely to spread and cause severe, lasting health effects — as we saw in the recent Indiana HIV outbreak. This is especially true in underserved communities, who can experience the effects of outbreaks more severely. Under Medicare for All, everyone will have high quality health care they can afford, removing financial barriers for patients who may be contagious and need to seek care. We all benefit when we stop the spread of infectious disease faster.
“Diseases like coronavirus remind us why we need robust international institutions, strong investments in public health, and a government that is prepared to jump into action at a moment’s notice,” Warren writes.
“When we prepare and effectively collaborate to address common threats that don’t stop at borders, the international community can stop these diseases in their tracks,” she adds.
Warren’s plan comes on the heels of bubbling coronavirus fears, with five confirmed cases in the U.S. The State Department has since issued a level four advisory, “do not travel,” for Wuhan, China and level three, “reconsider travel,” for the country as a whole.
“Avoid all nonessential travel to China,” the State Department warns. “Chinese authorities are imposing quarantines and restricting travel throughout the country.”