The COVID-19 pandemic caused devastating health and economic consequences including the deaths of nearly one million Americans, and shined a light on the importance of pandemic preparedness and strong public health infrastructure. As Treasurer, Seth worked with public health officials to ensure the state had the funds to respond to the pandemic, and advocated for policies to support the frontline workers who responded heroically throughout the crisis.
The importance of public health and the consequences of infectious diseases have never been more apparent than over the last two years. In Congress, Seth will prioritize public and pandemic preparedness by:
- Addressing shortages in health care staffing by investing in training programs, tuition reimbursement and student loan forgiveness for frontline workers.
- Addressing the social determinants of health, and ensuring that all Americans have access to adequate nutrition, clean air and water, and primary care.
- Ensuring public health decisions are informed by public health professionals.
- Promoting transparency and accountability in government.
Scientists are already warning that the next pandemic could be even worse. In Congress, Seth will champion pandemic preparedness by supporting policies to prevent the next pandemic by:
- Building a stockpile of improved personal protective equipment, tests for possible pathogens, and production capacity for therapeutics and vaccines for the known pathogens that are most likely to lead to the next pandemic, to be ready to scale them up and distribute them immediately.
- Improving air quality in buildings to prevent the spread of pathogens, particularly public spaces like schools, airports, classrooms, public transit, and hospitals.
- Increasing funding for scientific and medical research and making sure it is done safely and with security in mind to reduce biological risks.
- Ensuring strong, independent oversight of biorisk regulations, especially those risks related to dual use research.
- Building a 21st century early warning system to detect biological threats early and target resources to stop them before they threaten our health.