Sep 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Brooks: We need to better prepare for pandemics

brooks and talev

Axios' Margaret Talev (L) and Rep. Susan Brooks (R). Photo: Axios

Insufficient stockpiles and a lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a warning for America on future preparedness, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "Congress had been beefing up for years — the appropriations for preparedness — it certainly was not enough, and we recognize that," Brooks said.

  • "I do think going forward, and I certainly hope in a bipartisan way, we will come together to make sure there is more funding for those frontline workers, for our health care systems ... County health departments, our state health departments, quite frankly have not been adequately funded over many years."
  • "And so I think there's going to be a lot of discussion — not only in Congress — but I think in state legislatures and in county commissions and so forth: How do we make sure that we do a better job, not only in the longterm future, but because pandemics can last sometimes a couple of years."

The big picture: Congress has provided emergency funding to states that are financially struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. But many are still fighting to manage the massive costs incurred by the COVID-19 economy, including testing, unemployment and health care funding.

Watch the event.

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