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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.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 27, 2020 - World

EU launches coronavirus vaccine drive to inoculate 450M people

Krystyna Matusik, a nurse from the Krakow University Hospital Intensive Care Unit, is given the first jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Krakow, Poland, on Sunday. Photo: Omar Marques/Getty Images

The European Union began on Sunday a coordinated rollout of coronavirus vaccinations across its 27 member states in a drive to inoculate some 450 million people.

Why it matters: Several European countries have tightened restrictions as cases, deaths and hospitalizations surge. EU countries have recorded at least 16 million COVID-19 cases and 336,000 deaths since the pandemic began, per AP.

Dec 27, 2020 - World

New coronavirus variant reaches Canada, Japan and several EU countries

A COVID-19 assessment center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Photo: Zou Zheng/Xinhua via GettyImages

Cases of a new variant of COVID-19 first detected in England were confirmed by health officials in Canada, Japan and several more European Union countries Saturday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the variant is more deadly than the original strain, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that it could be 70% more transmissible prompted dozens of countries to ban travel from the United Kingdom.