Feb 28, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus adds stress onto states

Illustration of a person in a hospital gown holding an i.v. pole with two scales on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State health agencies already had enough problems, and now they face the prospect of the coronavirus — which would further stretch their limited resources, Politico reports.

Between the lines: State and local health departments are underfunded and already trying to address a bad flu season, vaping-related illnesses and the opioid epidemic.

  • The CDC's budget for state and local emergency preparation was cut by a third between 2003 and 2019.

Details: State and local officials are stocking up on medical supplies, making quarantine plans and even preparing to postpone work on long-term problems like addiction should an outbreak hit.

The big picture: "The officials say it's part of a longstanding pattern in both red and blue states: agencies that routinely are the stepchildren in state government being suddenly thrust into a new emergency with tight budgets and multiple missions," Politico writes.

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