Phil E. Benjamin
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has called for Social Solidarity to stop and turn back the flu pandemic gripping the world. She made it clear that the pandemic meant, by definition, operative for about 5 years, that if this kind of occurrence includes many countries, than it is determined to be a pandemic.
The next part of the definition is the severity of the problem. And, that has yet to be determined.
She called on drug manufacturers to set aside their profit goals and see the production of anti-viral medicines as part of the social solidarity needed in this time of crisis.
$1.5 Billion in the U.S.
President Barak Obama, with congressional approval, has budged $1.5 billion to control this flu virus.
Using Dr. Chan's warning, this money must not be fed to the drug companies. If necessary, the U.S.'s own laboratories should be used to furnish anti-viral drugs to people in need.
The $1.5 billion should be used to rebuild the U.S. public health infrastructure that is in great disrepair.
Today's NY Times article, "Recession Has Left Health Agencies Weakened in Swine flu Flight, Officials Say," document the crisis in public health in the United States. NACHO, the National Association of County and City Health Department, has called for immediate action to replace layed off professionals, doctors and nurses, and the hiring of public health educators to teach people the simple activities of public health.
ASTO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, have also chimed in with the crisis on that level.
Solidarity Across the Borders
There is a great need for solidarity between United States and Mexico at this time. President Obama will not be closing the borders!
LETS GET TO WORK!!!! Start with the simple act of washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing, and similar things. Then call upon your elected officials to support public health agencies across the country and around the world.