The COVID-19 pandemic ripped through communities and disrupted every aspect of life for all Illinoisans. In particular, marginalized communities including Latino, Black, Native American, and Asian American populations suffered some of the highest rates of infection and mortality.
As of June 2022, over 1 million Americans have lost their lives.
Regrettably, the truth is that many lives could have been saved and the spread of COVID-19 could have been significantly mitigated if not prevented altogether if Federal, State, and Local governments were better prepared and had strong policies aimed at preventing future pandemics.
Moving forward, it is critical that significant government resources are directed at the prevention of future pandemics. Doing so will not only save potentially millions of lives, but also potentially billions of dollars.
The Federal government’s slow response and lack of adequate preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic only amplifies the necessity for the state of Illinois, in coordination with local municipal entities, to ensure every level of government is doing everything in its level of authority to prevent and mitigate the effects of any future pandemic.
It also necessitates a coordinated call to our federal representatives in the U.S. House and Senate to take immediate action to
- Assess and address biosecurity risks in our nation’s research laboratories, particularly those that engage in research involving communicable diseases.
- Promote the independent oversight of labs conducting dual-use research
- Investing in the research and development of prototype vaccines, protocols, and necessary technological and physical infrastructure to prevent likely pathogens from spreading
Proactive preparedness also requires that the State of Illinois take whatever steps possible to act on these matters where the federal government may have inaction.
Pandemic prevention must be a top priority for the federal government and the State of Illinois. Ensuring our government is ready for the next communicable disease will save billions of taxpayer dollars and potentially a million of lives.